More of the Story…

Here’s a bit more of the story….

I went to church a couple of Sundays back while visiting my friends from Ping Etcetera.

Sharon and Erik (pictured with me to the right) go to a charismatic Episcopalian church and they invited me to come with them. As I wrote in my previous post, I am not sure why the experience was enjoyable. I do not think I will ever know for certain, since there were so many factors built into it, but I did enjoy my time at the church there.

It was an emotional service for me. They sang some of the old songs that took me back a few years to songs of my young adulthood. Songs like, “Open the Eyes of My Heart” and “As the Deer”… these songs pulled on my shredded heart-strings and brought back the feelings of the “good ole’ days”.

As I related to Sharon later that day, the emotions I felt during this time were mixed. On one hand I wanted to get up and walk out. On the other, I wanted to fall on my face and cry. Fortunately for everyone involved, I took neither course of action. I did cry though as I sat there and mouthed the words of the songs, and while reading the liturgy for that day.

It’s easy for some to attribute these emotions or feelings as being from God. Maybe some will say that what I experienced was God actually touching my heart, letting me know he was there. At times that’s even what I wondered… and I haven’t closed the door to that possibility.

Some have mentioned that one reason I might have enjoyed church was being with people I enjoyed. Yes, being with Sharon and Erik (and Erik’s wife and kids) was a part of what made the whole thing special. These are some people that have been an important part of the past two years of my life, and to finally meet them and hang out made it not just a good Sunday, but also weekend. And church was a culmination of a great weekend. So yes, that was probably a big part.

Whether it was the people I was around, just having not been to church in awhile, hearing the old songs, or God actually talking to me… I do not know. Figuring it out isn’t important. Trying to recreate it won’t happen either. I just simply enjoyed it for whatever reason.

13 thoughts on “More of the Story…”

  1. I think I see a man-tit in that picture. Very disturbing. Maybe it’s Sharon’s shoulder pressing against my pit causing the illusion of a man-tit. Either way, more veggies for me.

  2. Thanks for sharing “the rest of the story…”I have had a couple similar experiences recently. I find I get a little guarded when they happen. As a recovering evangelical I sometimes go back to the “bar” [have an experience of some sort with church people] and something tastes good…then I panic and wonder if it was “fermentation,” nostaglia, or something authentic and good that made me feel that way…

  3. I have some of the same things in my life happening also – I am not very close to traditional church I was in – but when I am there I respect what I once learned there.

  4. Hmm… just a bit of a swell, not even enough to fill a training bra. More like a bee sting……But enough to make one wonder if the shaved head and goatee are attempts at masculine compensation.

  5. I’ve had the exact same experiences, many times… and I struggle with attributing the experience to God touching my heart, but sometimes I can’t shake that feeling. I grew up in a very non-charismatic church, so it’s hard to come to grips with the feelings. I think for the me, those extreme emotional responses are a bit of self-conviction from hearing a song or message that often was speaking directly to something I was wrestling with at that moment.Keep writing and podcasting, I love all of it…

  6. Steve, it’s a sunny Saturday morning and yet your story brings tears to my eyes. I so want to just rush into the arms of God, even to the point of swallowing all of the bullshit that comes along with being in a church. Like you, I wonder what the truth is. God have mercy on us all.

  7. Steve, it’s refreshingly pleasant to hear such honesty, especially from within the christian community (as sad as that statement is!). It’s equally uplifting to see such an outpouring of love from the SCP peeps. I strongly believe that God is really moving in and through you right now. Take your time, and know that you are loved and supported.It has just occured to me, that through this silly blog, the true nature of Christ’s church is being actively lived out. I mean, I’ve never even met your goofy ass, and yet the christian brotherly connection/love/bond seems almost limitless right now….quick, put some controversial shit up about Rick Warren or something to balance out all of this lovey-dovey crap.kiddin…thanks again for your honesty, and I for one am eagerly looking forward to seeing what God is up to in this new chapter of yours!

  8. for me it is almost exclusively about getting together with other people. don’t forsake getting together… that’s all that means to me. that’s the stage we all get on. what we do once we are there is just the play. sounds nice.

  9. dang it–i dont want to be debbie downer–but i felt that way about church–like God was finally talking to me…but now I just think that I subconsciously WANT “God” to talk to me, so I think he does. I get moved because I think I am “supposed” to be moved–but am I really?? I think that figuring it out might be important–but that is just me.

  10. I know where you are at man. I have been forced to go to Church because my wife attends a Christian college. I find I enjoy it too but am VERY guarded and the bullshit monitors are hard at work. I think it is a combination of everything. Interesting enough, I have heard that music is quite the trigger and brings back memories. I admit I had some great memories of Church back in the old days. Even though I was a brainwashed republican then. I am beginning to think that the conflict is that God is there in the presence of imperfect people and it causes a mixed ness.Back in my hardcore churchianity days a pastor once said “in revival three things will show up, God, Satan, and the flesh. I suspect in most Churches you find all three coexisting. I guess Jesus is tolerant enough to be around the bullshit in order to be near his children that are seeking him even if they are covered in it.Overall I am happier than a I was a few months ago, but I think it has more to do with changing jobs than going to Church. I hated my old job and I like my new one a lot.

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