Sunday, May 29, 2011

An Ode to my Parents

It's nearly lunch time on a Sunday, and I'm not at church.  Nope, I'm actually in a towel in my lounge having just escaped from my bed and into the shower. 

I don't go to church.  This is not nessesarily a permanent arrangement. 

My parents are Christians.  They're the good kind.  The brave kind.  I am a Christian because they are.  Yeah, I'm a Christian because that's how I was raised.  It's familiar, it's home.  It's the way I have always made sense of my life.  But I'm also a Christian because my parents are who they are.

They spent too many years in the kind of church that is a trespass against the very nature of God.  The kind of church that makes too many rules.  That denies grace.  That denigrates the value of women, and therefore of all people.  They escaped that kind of Christianity when I was in my early teens.

Since then, they have done the opposite of what many people do.  Instead of having the boundaries of their life and faith narrow, they have pushed back and expanded.  They have said, what part of this faith of mine is true?  What part shall I let go?  That's courage, my word, that's courage.

They live out their faith in different ways.  Mum goes to church every Sunday.  Dad stays home.  The best part of this is that they accept and support each other in this.  Dad doesn't say, why do you bother?  Mum doesn't say, you should go to church.  They have room inside their faith for more than one way of expressing it.  They honour the different expressions of their shared faith.

This helps me to be brave.  I know that my particular expression and framework of faith would not be what many Christians would accept.  But I have been supported by my parents to find my own way to a faith that engages me, that comforts me, that pushes me past my own boundaries.  I embrace a faith that might not always be what they would choose, but I am proud to be their daughter and to honour the heritage they gift to me.

So it's Sunday and I'm not at church.  But maybe I am, in my living room, watching things like this:

1 comment:

ElizabethB said...

Precious Sharyn
At last I get to read this in full and watch the video! Feels like I have just absorbed an amazing sermon for which I sincerely thank you. Both Dad & I are pleased to see your perception of the Christian life has not emerged confused, but more with the ability to give yourself permission to be free. Free to be the person Jesus made you to be. Free to live out in this present world hope, love, appreciation of what is good & true.

Ummmm one correction, Dad does come to church as part of my rent-a-crowd when I speak, and on cold wet days he does say to me "Do you need to go????"

Loving you and who you really are always!!!!
And thank you so very very much!