Theology

the day I watched my god die

Picasso_Pablo-Crucifixion[Picasso’s Crucifixion]

A few years ago, I stood in a dark place. The ground trembled and shook under me, and I stared up at heaven and watched my god die. Everything that I thought I had known– known with an absolute, unreachable certainty, was gone. Shattered. In a moment, in the space of a few words, it felt like everything in my universe was a lie. I had been deceived, tricked.

Horror-struck, I watched the truth pierce the side of the person I’d thought was god made flesh, and the pain was so intense I could feel a hollowness inside– an emptiness torn apart by swords and spears. Truth and reason and experience and emotion were the pallbearers that carried my faith away. And suddenly, the world was cold and dark and empty, because all the light had gone out. The veil was torn, and I couldn’t see anything worth hoping in behind the curtain. It was just a room. It was just a piece of lumber, a few pieces of iron. It was just an empty space carved into rock.

Tears washed my face in the night; my heart echoed al0ng with the cries of “why can’t you save yourself? Why can’t you save me?” Why did I carry a back-breaking cross in your name? 

They carried him away and buried him under a mountain of shame and terror. I sealed the door shut with guilt and fear and betrayal and anger and rage.

Eventually, the sun shone, piercing clouds and making the world seem strangely normal again. I went back to work. I continued learning. I talked with friends who never knew what I had just witnessed. I hid in upper rooms I created inside of my head, places where my god had never been– and never would be. All the promises I’d ever known were broken, and the lie of them was bitter. I couldn’t speak them to another person, and every time I offered an assurance to another, it felt like feeding them false hope and platitudes. I wanted to rage inside of my own temple and hear the crash of silver on marble tile.

He was dead. The god of my childhood was nothing more than a corpse.

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  • While I was never a believer, this was extraordinarily touching and well-written. Great work.

  • Agree with the above. Your such a great writer, and tear jerk piece.

  • Reblogged this on An Open-Minded Journey and commented:
    Know exactly what she means. Such a well-written post, really love her blog.

  • powerful words, Samantha. .

  • I can so relate to this!!! I grew up in IFB churches. Although not as severe as your experienced it was still very damaging to me and my family. I was 31 years old before I was led away from that life and I have never looked back. I so clearly remember feeling the way you just described!! It has taken years of restraining my brain. I am now 41 and I still find my brain betraying me at times. I love your blog. Thanks!