Column: Listening to His words

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“If you don’t go to church, you don’t love God.”Good one, God. Yes, I am listening.

This was my child’s report after school one day. A friend of his gave him this little nugget of knowledge. He further hypothesized, “Mama, you don’t go to church, is it true you don’t love God?”

My reply, “Is that true for you?”

“No!” he snapped back. Well, it isn’t for me either, so let’s talk about this.

It has been quite a spiritual and religious journey for me over the years. I am, by my very nature, a wonderer. I was raised Methodist, and while in college, found a spiritual home in Catholicism. Though, since college graduation, I have once again found myself wondering. I must admit, I just have not found my place in a church.

I am fairly-liberal in my world views. I have this crazy notion that we are all equal in the eyes of God. I also like to think that “love thy neighbor” means all my neighbors, not simply the ones who look, act, or think like me.

I also like to think that God speaks to all of us, if we are willing to listen. And I listen. I listen intently to His words as they come to me through my children’s voices, through my husband’s words, and through the world around me. I share these messages and words with my children.

You could say I haven’t quite found my way—and I think that is okay. I often have more questions than answers. Does the act of going to church mean you love God more than if you don’t attend church? Is this really the question we should be asking?

I have to believe that at the heart of religion or spirituality are some very simple-truths. Be kind and loving to others, listen, give freely of yourself, be gentle and fair, forgive others, and learn from your mistakes. I believe if I can do these things everyday, with or without church attendance, that at the end of my life, God will be waiting, with open arms, and we will have a great chat.

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