I’ve been a religious rebel (the word “maverick” has been ruined for me by politicians) since I was young. Perhaps this fact was foreshadowed when I played an angel in the first grade Christmas play. You can easily see in the large photo of that occasion that my mother has pinned my wings on upside down. The rebel made herself known during a slumber party I had at my house when I was 15. I announced, prompted by what I do not recall, that most probably the first man and the first woman were not really named “Adam” and “Eve.” A near riot ensued, and at least one girl threatened to call her mother to come pick her up in the middle of the night.
All my life, I’ve had trouble finding my footing on a spiritual path; stumbling over traditional church liturgy, much of the Bible, and even the prayer that all who call themselves Christian know by heart. I’ve always felt alone. My belief in the Source of Love has never seemed to be a good enough reason to feel that I really belong in any faith community. And yet I persist. I have longed for validation.
So it was that a few weeks ago, I signed up for a 10-week small group at church called “The Seeker’s Path: Moving Beyond Belief.” One of the major goals of the group is that “each participant will have been able to move beyond any traditional beliefs or practices that have hindered his or her spiritual growth and will have gained a new understanding of, and deeper relationship with, God.”
There are about ten of us. Ninety minutes goes by in a flash. We are safe to expose our hearts and minds to each other. Safe! We are encouraged, but not required, to do journaling and reading and homework assignments. This week one of the homework assignments, #1 on the list of possibilities, was to “write a short poem, haiku, a very brief narrative or simply list key words that summarize your current relationship with God.”
I thought I’d skip that one. Not in the mood. Too hard to pin down. I’d feel a little bit shy. OK, a lot shy. Didn’t wanna. Not going to do it. But walking into the kitchen this morning to get my first cup of coffee, the image of God as a rock star hopped unbidden into my mind. I have no idea where that came from. Heh. I sat down with the coffee and wrote this:
Note To My Rock Star
Love, we’re good together when we’re alone, or with my friends.
We can talk about anything, and we laugh and cry together.
You understand me better than anyone ever has in my whole life.
But when your groupies and go-fers are around, and you’re wearing costumes and makeup and the crowd is screaming your Name, I wonder if I really know you.
I wonder if that song you’re singing was really written for me.
Oh, honey, I’m just bitchin’.
I know your gift is for the world.