june 11th, 2016 turned into june 12th, 2016. i was awake after a long day at Out at the Fair at the San Diego County fair. it was my first time at a pride centered event. the lgbtq community was becoming more and more important to me as i started attending my open and affirming church each week. i now noticed the harm that the community was put through by the mainstream christian church that i had been a part of my whole life. i knew it was time for me to be more vocal about being an ally. so that day we celebrated. we waved tiny, plastic rainbow flags as we cheered for our friends as they performed music. we watched carly rae jepsen perform at the main stage. we went to the gender-neutral bathrooms and laughed at the people who were freaking out about it. the world had far to go, but we were moving forward. it felt like it, at least.
there is no memory for why i was awake so late that night. i didn’t often stay up past midnight and i know i was extremely tired that day. orlando, florida was three hours ahead. pride month was raging. i was refreshing twitter, which i often do when i can’t sleep. @elielcruz, a religious bi activist i follow on twitter, was still awake on the east coast as he tweeted the facebook status from Pulse Orlando:
“Everyone get out of pulse and keep running”
in a world of instant updates, the lack of information was confusing and overwhelming. hostages. shooter still in the club. people running. people dying. people being shot. phone calls. i went to facebook and refreshed the status. i went to twitter. i checked the news. i googled. there was not enough information. people seemed to think the chaos was slowing down, that the murderer had done the worst of his damage. i felt guilty for my fatigue. i was the only person i knew who knew. the rest of my world was asleep. i went back and forth between apps until my eyes were impossible to keep open.Read More »
2016 was hard. I started the year disillusioned, heartbroken, mourning. I had a pending draft blogged called “24 Joyous Moments of being 24” – a blog in which I celebrated 2015. But 6 days before the end of 2015, my beloved Turbo was hit by a car right in front of me and passed away. Nothing could cheer me up. I received a promotion at work at the same time, but none of it mattered. If anything, the change only broke my heart more.
I tried to write the blog even after the most horrid of emotions passed, but I couldn’t. Maybe one day I’ll just post it as is, unfinished. Either way, the changes in my life continued me on an emotionally draining path. I moved to a new apartment with a new roommate, which felt like another goodbye to my dog and also had its own set of tensions. I did therapy. I did so much self-discovery that it hurts me now as I write. I wonder about life and secrecy. I got back into politics only to have the hope and goodness sucked out of me at the end of it all. Maybe politics does that, but I wish it wouldn’t.
2014 was Learning. 2015 was Joy (Almost). 2016 was… was what? Is “hard” the only word I have?Read More »
How did I wind up so interested in theology? I think the spark may have been lit in high school, as I remember being frustrated the way I’d basically memorize my youth pastor’s sermon points, but couldn’t retain anything in my AP Calculus class.
Then perhaps it was further dived into when the boy I had a crush on when I was 18 and 19 years old would talk to me late into the night about C.S. Lewis books and quotes. By 20, I was reading popular modern Christian authors as I tried to argue against this friend’s Rob Bell-type beliefs during that whole Love Wins / Erasing Hell madness in the Christian community (if you don’t know about that: good.) I’d even work out at the gym listening to David Platt sermons. Then my world started to break, and my beliefs in the world were challenged, and I tried to walk away from all the debates and arguments and appeals to emotion or intellect for awhile. I didn’t want to figure out the divide between the spiritual and the flesh anymore. I was tired. I was sore from watching the hate.Read More »
Recently I was reflecting on how much information I’ve been taking in with no real way to share it or process it fully. A friend suggested that I share what I’ve been reading or listening to as way to process it.Read More »
Communion. Eucharist. The Divine Meal. What does it all mean? Why do churches partake in this every Sunday, or twice a year, or in between church services the first Sunday of the month? Why are there so many arguments about what it means from a theological standpoint?
Throughout Christian history, so much has been said on Eucharist and what it means. I grew up Catholic, so Communion was very particular. We had a lot of rules and a lot of regulations. I took lessons for my First Communion when I was in 2nd grade, an event I wore a clean and white dress for. When I look back to that day, I remember feeling excluded by my peers, but I can’t remember why. I think they wouldn’t let me take a photo with them. My teacher was nice enough to take a photo with me. But then when I ate the paper flakes and drank the wine, it felt Holy.
I was an altar server for awhile, so I can’t tell you how many times I watched the Catholic Transfiguration of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood. To this day, however, I still don’t quite understand the concept. What I did understand? That there were a LOT of rules. I had to do confession twice a year. I had to keep going to Mass. I couldn’t get married outside the church. I couldn’t get divorced. I couldn’t have sex. All of these things would limit access to the Eucharist.
When I went to Protestant churches later on, the little juice cups got passed around with the little bread pieces attached… or at chapels in college, I’d tear off a piece of bread and dip it in the juice. I no longer believed that I was eating the Body of Jesus Christ, but something kept drawing me back to it. Read More »