My Security Blanket
It’s getting nasty weather-wise where I live. Running into the grocery store this morning, I was struck with an overwhelming desire to just go home, curl up on my couch, and wrap up in this huge old blanket we have around the house. And then the Bam! Out of no where the reason came to me on why I’m struggling so much to give up what I know as “religion.”
Religion has, with all its issues and shortcomings, become a sort of security blanket in my life. Because I’ve been in “the church” such a long time, religion has in essence stripped me of being able to find comfort in real, authentic relationships. Somehow, manufacturing pseudo-friendships that go only so deep (like a Sunday morning) fill my heart with the warmth and comfort enough to “take me through the whole week,” while anxiously anticipating my next dose. Like a sick love addict, religion panders to my need for someone to love me, but only gives me enough to keep coming back to “the building” for more.
Wow. Since I’ve stepped out of my dependence on “the structure” to fulfill my needs, I’ve actually remembered what true friendships are about. I’ve grown closer to my husband (remember, by the way, he’s a pastor) the further I get “out of the church”. However, I’ve noticed that some people — especially those in leadership — do not like this new-found freedom I’ve experienced. On some levels, I’ve been kind of ostracized. People look at you differently when you’re “clean,” you know? And they would like nothing better than to drag me back into the crack house of organized religion.
For years, “going to church” was something that filled me with anticipation. Then, as I got closer to the leadership, I began to notice that there are not many “pure in heart and motivation” left at the top. They also use the blanket the church provides, not for the comfort, but to cover up their actions that go against what they preach such as giving manufactured comfort to the cold and heart homeless. They send smoke signals and confusing messages so that they do not have to be authentic or accountable. Are there good people there? Sure, but there are good people everywhere, and sad to say, the percentage in the church building isn’t any higher than those outside.
However, even though my old blanket at home is ratty and full of holes, it still brings me comfort. For many years, I would rationalize the church in the same way. Look to the positive! Look at what we’re doing that makes the world a little more right. And to be honest, I still do that sometimes. But only when the structure is doing the right thing — like feeding families over this holiday season.
But my attachment to the religious “blanket” is over. Sure, I still go, and I do have some “true” friends there. However, I think I’ve already thrown the blanket out to the curb, and the real blanket is beckoning me from my dark, cold blanket. “That’s all I got to say about that.”