Monday, December 14, 2009

Scar(r)ed of Christmas

Every year around the 1st of December I start to panic. (I'm a little early this year.)

I don't belong here.
Christmas is scary.
I wonder if these people resent me.

I don't hate Christmas. I might celebrate it at some point in my life. One of my brothers celebrated Christmas with his (then) girlfriend for a couple of years. I guess I could celebrate it now if I chose to.

But Christmas scares me because people are mean this time of year. They think if you don't celebrate it you don't love Jesus or something I guess...

I've actually been in a Christmas play/thing before.

My family went to another church for a while (11 years actually.) One year in December we had a skit. (It was lovely.) We dripped hot white candle wax all over the carpet, and sang "Carry Your Candle" in the dark.

I love fire. And darkness.

We had been told that it was not for Christmas--But it was.

Which is not to say that it was terrible or evil; just that it was a Christmas thing. It was a good play and a few families had filled brown paper lunch bags with nuts, fruit, and candy which they handed out after the play, then passed them and fruit baskets through the (poor) neighborhood where our church was located. I think if people are going to have Christmas celebrations that's a good way have them.

But my family doesn't celebrate Christmas.

We talked about it afterward, and my fam was like, 'yeah that's what it was, but we asked, and they told us 'No this isn't for Christmas'.... So anyway we didn't say anything about it, but decided to step out next year. It was over and bla.

The church knew we didn't 'do Christmas', but we had never asked them to not have Christmas celebrations at church. It was really their call--Not ours. (They should have told us that it was for Christmas when we asked, though.)

The next year around the beginning of December, during church, a man asked, "Are we gonna have a Christmas play again this year?"

The pastor's daughter answered, "Yes, we'll do the same song we did last year." Then we went on with our service.

So anyway in a couple of weeks, when it came time for play practice my family didn't stay. We didn't throw a fit. We didn't ask anyone else to not have a play, or not be in a play. We didn't slam Christmas, or say anything bad about it. We just didn't stay and practice. (If you don't believe in something, it's OK to not do it. We were under-age children at the time, and our parents were responsible at that time for the choices they made with us.)

(The church had just skipped it for the 11 years that we were there. Maybe they felt obligated to... Which is sad for them...)


So the next week, openly, in front of the whole church, during service, we were asked to find another home church --unless we could make the choices he asked of us. Unless we believed the same.

And there was a whole sermon against us, then they yelled at my mom for a while and made her cry...

It was very dreadful. We did leave.

Edit April 2014: Very recently I realized that there was probably a double meaning to his request, and there were some other issues (besides Christmas) our past pastor wanted to be handled differently. Still sad that this was done openly--but now I realize it was done out of a good heart.

Which changes a lot of how I view that pastor... I feel bad for judging him so harshly for knocking over some of his sheep, now that I know he thought he was protecting lambs.

But it was still horrible...

My best friends Dad left church also. He was recently saved, and after sitting through the service said, "If that's what Christians are like I'm not going to be one."

Jimmy loved my dad especially. Seeing us hurt was the reason he left. It hurt him too bad to watch us bleed.

I've grieved more over my friend's dad than over my family. (We were moved into a better place for us...) Her family went from rejoicing over the changes in his life, and being happy about how much happiness they just got to having a lost dad again. They loved and love him still (I do too) But lost Dad's are harder to live with than saved ones.

And mostly we all really want Jimmy in heaven with us. No one really deserves Jesus gift, but it's already bought. Twas such a shame he thought it wasn't a good gift for himself... (Handed it back nicely of course...)

Still sad that this was done openly, because most of the sheep lamp; lambs lost trust in their shepherd, and ultimately one of the baby lambs ran away from his Heavenly Shepherd.

But now I realize it could have been done for other reasons, and from a partially good heart.
I'm praying I can hide my (poorly stitched, or un-stitched) wounds well enough, so that other patients don't get terrified of the doctor.

Try hard to not operate on anyone--in front of people with a weak stomach--unless it's an emergency. (If you're a new doctor, fresh out of med school, you've gotta expect to botch things a little bit, but a more seasoned doctor can restitch a poorly sewn operation, or reopen it if needed.)

Also if poor stitches are letting your guts seep out, and you think your doctor is able to operate on other people... find another doctor, because if you stay, the waiting room might empty. And some of those people will just go home to die...

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