When I was a little girl, I spent every Sunday with Granny Lollis in the Church of God of Prophecy. It was scary at times, but at the same time, there was a whole lot of love. I loved the love of the people there, and I loved the Spirit of God which I could feel running through my veins like electricity. I still feel that Spirit to this very day.
Back then Granny had a picture of a man hanging in her living room. His name was Jesus. I learned in church and from Granny that he was betrayed by those he trusted, he loved like no other, and that love cost him his life. He died because we sinned.
To a little brain that was a lot to take in and I didn’t understand it at all. How in the world could loving someone cost you your life? How in the world could loving someone put you on a cross with nails in your hands and feet and a thorny crown on your head? That had to be some serious love, right?
As time passed, we stopped going to church because Granny got to where she didn’t feel up to taking us across the country from Hickory Tavern to Gray Court, South Carolina. I missed the singings, Sunday School and seeing people physically taken over by the Spirit of God. I eventually quit church too, but I never quit believing. I prayed regularly and tried to stay close to that space inside me that felt the Spirit. Even though I would get lost at times, I would always somehow manage to come back to the things I had learned in a small white house converted into a church all those many years before. I still remember it like it was yesterday “that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son and that whosoever believed in Him shall not perish but would have everlasting life.”
With time I came to believe other things — that there is a lot of disagreement about God and who God is. In my heart and my mind, I believe that God is love and love is the answer to everything.
It isn’t always easy. People and life hurt us and betray us and break open our hearts. I don’t think they mean to, but they do. It is a different kind of pain when you discover that the ones you love the most are just human — that while we put them on pedestals and think they are perfect — they are not. It is also horribly painful when we look in the mirror and see that we hurt others too — not on purpose but because we are human as well. And I’ve come to see that sometimes we hurt the ones we love the most. We can step back and use those experiences and grow into more or we can let those experiences grow bitterness inside us and distort who we really are — beautiful Souls on a journey home.
In the end, none of us are getting out of here alive. Our Spirits will live forever, but our human bodies are going to die. Every step we take is one step closer to the moment that we are no more. Until then we get the beautiful choice to choose love or the opposite. Love brings us closer to each other and God. Not loving drives us away from both. I hope up until the moment I draw my last breath that love will be the choice I make. It’s the only way to live and the most powerful way to honor that man from Granny Lollis’ living room who came here to teach us love for all.
I hope you had a great Easter.
Lots of love from me to you!