Sometimes, I miss Jesus.
I miss the sense of assurance I felt in pain and heartbreak, in sickness and death.
I miss the sense of assurance I felt during the joyful moments, too. A birth, a wedding, reaching the peak of a mountain.
For 22 years of my life, I believed everything had a God-ordained purpose and was working for the good of His Kingdom. Even the poverty, the natural disasters, the bloodshed of millions of innocents… that was for the good of His Kingdom too.
I know my Christian readers are probably thinking: it still is.
I mourn the loss of a relationship with a trinity I now believe to be nonexistent. I miss the feeling that my prayers were being answered, directly, by an intimate God. I miss the time when my Proverbs 3:5-6 tattoo meant something.
I miss having answers to some of life’s greatest mysteries, and knowing that my purpose on Earth was a purpose I shared with millions of others. We were united on a global level.
I miss the local communities that would gather on the pretext of this mutual understanding of a greater deity, and all that would come with that: the pot luck dinners, the weddings, the singing (oh how I miss the singing), the reminder to do and be better. Sometimes I think it would have been easier to stay, to silence the voices whispering “no, this isn’t it, I don’t think so” and play the game anyway, because the loss of leaving the team would be too great.
For a long time, Jesus was the light with which I could see the world and understand my place in it. When I switched off that light, which had been flickering for months, and moved to another room, I was overwhelmed by the immensity of darkness. I was taught that Jesus was the light, the only light, and without Him, I would suffer in this dark world, fumbling my way through like a baby deer.
A couple of years ago, I found another light. I don’t know where it came from and I don’t know what it is. It doesn’t fit into a narrative or a doctrine, it doesn’t have its own community. When I ask friends, it doesn’t look like the light that guides them on their path either. I can’t talk to it, at least, not in the way that I used to talk to Jesus. But it’s on and it’s shining. Because of it, I can see a horizon that stretches a lot further and a sky that reaches a lot higher.
As I write this, I can see my Christian friends with their arms out, smiling at me from the field saying “you’re welcome back you know, come on! We love you!” and I can’t help but smile, and feel the warmth of their love. The grass is green and lush and the sun is cloaking them in a golden glow.
But I can never play that game again. Not under those rules.
So instead I nod, and give them a slight smile. I watch them play for a few more minutes, and kick the ball in from the sideline when it goes out. But then I walk on, over to the road which is neither narrow nor wide.
I carry my light and I walk on, and on.
Also published on Medium.