Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li


Jet had two Easter Egg hunts. He was very happy to get the six eggs that he did in both hunts and eat an egg or two's worth of candy from each set and then go on playing with other things.

Happy boy.

He ate the ears off his Enstrom's dark chocolate bunny and put the rest back into the bag before asking for his hand to be washed.

Jet did great. I was very impressed with him. He had a great time walking with a pack of five-year-old boys to the park, running when they ran, and even jumping up and down when their dads told them to jump to slow them down a little so that all us adult types could catch up (yeah, I'm another mile closer on the Rivendell walk *grin*). And when he caught up with all of them at the park, he swung, climbed, balanced, and slid with the best of 'em. Best of all he didn't protest a ride back to the house on my shoulders as he was obviously getting tired and I wanted him to have *some* energy for the second hunt.

Best of all he started the morning with waffles and yogurt and ended with half a dozen corn dogs, a bit of apple, and a handful of grapes, even with the chocolate bunny sitting around to be seen. So Jet actually had *some* food. Yay!

Matthew Fox's book made Easter something of a rebirthing for me, too. It is so odd to have a book that has such a clear delineation of all the things that I've always believed about churches but saw only in glimpses in the Congregationalist churches I've been involve with (this is NOT to say that it doesn't exist in Congregationalist churches, for some it does). To see, so clearly delineated, the differences between these folks that work, every day, for a better world and the folks I used to know in a Chinese Baptist church that walked around all euphoric about being 'Saved' and did nothing but think about how imperfect, flawed, or sinful everyone else was and how everyone else was going to Hell. The ones that were most emphatic about me going to Hell were the ones that, probably, had the most problems.

I knew, in my gut, there was a difference between these ways of approaching Christianity, but I never had anything that could show me, clearly, what it was. And knowing that there was this horrible side, I never could trust any church. Period. Even if I felt like I could belong, I knew that I shouldn't trust that feeling because they'd find out how flawed I am and throw me out.

I was never really able to talk with John about it, as he's only ever been born, raised, and brought up in the Creation-centered tradition. Where each person is valued, trusted, and loved for their individual, imperfect self. Where God's love and the blessing of creation is emphasized far, far more than how every person who is born in Original Sin, is a blot of crud on this Earth only cleansed and judged by people far better and far deader and far more out of reach than him. For John there was no handle to grasp on my understanding of Christianity because it was so foreign to him that there wasn't even any way for him to understand it.

Fox knows both ways. Intimately. And is showing me that there is a set of Ways, which I'd always suspected and wanted, but thought was just wishful thinking while reading the Gospels. He's given me the background, the history, and the Gospel and Old Testament support to let me know they are real. That the basis of Christianity is trust/faith, that love is more powerful than 'sin'.

The book even speaks of the fact that the old sin/redemption model is, fundamentally, one of distrust, fear, contempt of those who are not the same, and self-absorption. It caters more to the ego than to service or compassion. And the book says it in terms that are that strong, that provocative. And I think that kind of language is the only kind of language that could get through to me on these issues, because they've been so engrained in me, it takes something that strong to shake me out of it, to have me KNOW that the old teaching are not a useful way.

One of the things that really got through to me was the Creation-centered take on Darkness. I'd always loved the night, the darkness. I've always felt that love would make me shunned by all good, Light-loving Christians. And Fox speaks of a Via Negitiva that is the way of Darkness, the way through pain to a better creation, the way that embraces the Dark, not to worship it, but to know it and learn from it and use it as fuel for a better Creation. The image that really spoke to me was the religion that was only based on Light (and the converse *fear* of the Dark), was a religion of campfires, where only those that were accepted were allowed into the circle of light. In contrast, the Darkness takes everyone and anyone, not just the socially accepted. Just as Jesus inclined at the tables of even the most outcast, despised, or vulnerable, his religion should reflect his ability to give respect and acceptance to everyone. And a corollary to that is anyone that really knows the darkness has compassion for everyone and anyone else in the darkness, they know the pain.

Another was that present society chokes off creativity, often by stomping on anyone that doesn't make something 'perfect'. Six-year-olds are creative every day. How many forty-year-olds do you know are creative in the same sense? Why is everyone so discouraged from trying to express themselves? And why are they all so self-deprecating of their individual, unique, beautiful creations when an adult manages to do something? Why are so many people so fixated on perfect things when no thing is perfect? Yeah, Fox ties that back to the sin/redemption model. That only perfect things are allowed in the sin/redemption Heaven, so everything else is just trash, along with the people who shape them. It almost physically hurts to read that and understand why I don't write.

There are so many lines of thought like these in the book, that I am just swimming in them and thinking along paths I'd closed off to myself for years and years. It amazes me.

It made for quite an Easter in my head.

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