I ran into an old friend a while back. We first met when we were in our 20’s. We worked for the same company and soon became fast friends. As I got to know her, I learned that she was raised agnostic. She did not go to church, there were no bibles in her home, and there were no discussions about God. Her parents decided that they would avoid the topic and let her make up her mind when she became an adult.
Discussions about faith and God always made my friend uncomfortable. She didn’t like the fact that she could not have an intelligent conversation one way or the other. I understood her pain. My mother was raised Catholic, and my father was raised Baptist. From as far back as I can remember I spent time in both the Catholic Church and the Baptist Church. One week we went to the Catholic Church and the next week we went to the Baptist Church. Alternating churches every week was confusing. Unlike my friend who was raised without a foundation mine existed but it was all mixed up. I am not sure if there are two churches more different. As a child, I was afraid of the Baptist church. I was afraid I’d catch what they had that made them shout and dance. I plugged my ears and closed my eyes afraid to look. I was afraid of catching “it.” On the other hand, you could hear a pin drop in the Catholic Church even with the big cathedral ceilings. As the organist played songs, only the priest could sing I yawned as I picked lint from my socks. I remember thinking we stand up, we sit down, and we kneel down. I wished the Priest would tell us to lay down because I was bored!
As a child, everything I knew about church had nothing to do with God. I learned that going to the Baptist church was like going to an indoor family reunion. There was lots of talking, hugging, and food. At the Catholic Church, I learned that five Hail Mary’s was a get out of jail free card. I alternated churches until I was about 13 years old. Unlike my friend, I heard a lot but by then I was lost, and nothing stuck. Without a foundation, my belief system was up for grabs. I gravitated to whatever was popular. Though she agrees we were both mixed up, I ultimately found salvation, but she has not. All hope is not lost; she told me her hairdresser always talks about God when she gets her hair done. Praise the Lord for hairdressers!