I’ve been following the blog of a family in Utah that are experiencing an unbelievable crisis – their 1 year old son (the youngest of 4) drowned in the bathtub last Saturday (stakerzxposed.blogspot.com - see Blog Love). The mom did what all mom’s have done at least once during the young years of a child’s life, myself included, she stepped away from the tub, got distracted by other things that needed to be done and in that very short time, one of the two littlest boys in the tub (the other 2 years old) turned the water back on and somehow the youngest went under and literally drowned. This young mom, beckoned back by the calls of her son, found her youngest without life, lips blue, eyes open and blank, gone.
With uninhibited honesty, taking full responsibility and with genuine humility she has been sharing their story through her blog, in part to ensure that family and friends are updated regularly and also to plead for prayers for her revived but very sick little boy lying in the PICU in Salt Lake City. I have been pulled back to check on the status time and time again, each time hoping to read the best, not always receiving that but always reading heartfelt, honest, emotionally raw words.
While my heart is pulled to this young family simply by the connection that all mothers feel, I am also questioning why me, why at this time in my life have I been drawn into this “virtual” place. The path here was via another mother of 4 boys who’s youngest, only weeks old, was suffering the ravaging effects of Pertussis (whooping cough). She, also a woman of dedicated faith (both in the Mormon tradition) pleaded for the prayers of others to petition for the sparing of her son. Her son did not survive but the example of faith, total dedication to her God and witness of her strength was amazing to see. I came to her by way of the Digital Photography School of which I am a member and of which she is a teaching contributor a seemingly random journey but I tend to shy away from the belief in “random”.
Because of this journey, I am finding myself at a point of confliction of faith – not a crisis per se but a genuine point of questioning. I no longer hold the belief in one god, in one path but I find myself longing for the connections only found amongst people of faith. As I read comment after comment on these blogs from fellow members of their churches and from people that share their beliefs, and see the reaching out physically and in spirit it makes me long for the “family” that faith can create. Due to my past and history in and with the “church” I made the decision to leave that part of my life behind but now I’m wondering.
15 years ago I found myself in a place where I could no longer justify placing my faith in a God that “loved me unconditionally” but also wanted me to relinquish my truth, the truth of my creation, the truth of my physical and mental being and to deny the truth of who I am. So I left the church entirely and until recently I have been 100% okay that decision. It has only been in the past maybe 6 months during which time I have been stripped down to just me and me alone that I have started to miss the community and “family” that a church and its members provide. Walking into a church and being genuinely welcomed is comfort at its very best and that is what I find myself longing for. But can I accept and allow myself to become part of a family of faith when I do not share the faith of that community?
Tomorrow afternoon while many are focused on the “big game” I will be attending a concert by a Chamber Choir in the church of my mentor and his wife. I have not been in a church, beyond the gym for a baby shower, in years and I am apprehensive to say the least but also cautiously optimistic. George, my dear friend and mentor, knows my history and knows the origins of my apprehension and has offered the haven of his congregation to me in the past. He shares many of my beliefs and understands the pain and damage that religion has caused me and because of that, I trust him and am for the first time opening myself to the possibility of becoming a part of something again.
I have also made a new connection with a woman in Holland that shares my history and yet still holds true to much of her faith – another nudge from the Universe perhaps? I don’t know but I tend to shy away from the belief in “random”.