Wednesday, April 4, 2012

first church of haagen-dazs

I'm not very good at being a Christian. I'm not very good at trusting, waiting, hoping. I'm snarky and rude and often judgmental and proud. I have fallen out of the habit of daily Bible readings. I lose myself in anger and frustration. I don't have a Scripture reference or sermon illustration to answer every question.

I was raised in faith. My family attended church three or four times a week and visited church members every day. We were homeschooled. My best friends were youth group members. We prayed over every meal. Until i got to college, i hardly owned any secular music. I wore a purity ring and had vowed to abstain from sex until i was married.

I don't evangelize. Not in the grocery store, not at work, not at home. Of my four siblings, i am the only one who still identifies as "Christian". The other three all call themselves agnostics. I pray for them, not that they would be convicted of their sin and led to the truth, but that Jesus would find them wherever they are and under whatever name makes most sense to them.

We've been through a lot in the last year as a family. And we've all had our own individual struggles. There have been times when i have felt that i only existed as God's afterthought, as a last-minute effort to correct an oversight. There have been moments when i doubted that God was paying any attention to me at all. There was one night where i was convinced that God did not exist at all.

I don't know why the wicked prosper and the good do not. I don't know why God doesn't tip the scales from time to time, why big miracles don't seem to happen any more, why babies die and my dad keeps getting fired and people starve to death while we throw away our uneaten French fries and hot fudge sundaes and cancer and AIDS exist and there is hatred and bigotry and ignorance and anger and fear and doubt.

I don't know what denomination, if any, i want to belong to. Sometimes, i don't know if i want to call myself a Christian anymore.

I am beset with doubt and instead of praying or talking to my pastor i am blogging quietly at my desk.

But this i do know:

Every time a major catastrophe touches me or my family, everything from dumping Casey to my mom's wedding to my brother's injury, there is a sale on Haagen-Dazs ice cream four days before.

Every time i need peace, strength, hope, and comfort, i am able to stock up on ice cream well beforehand. I like to think of it as God's way of wrapping His arms around me and saying, "Here. Have some ice cream. I love you."

I haven't yet put together a personal theology, nor have i found a more formal one with which to align myself. I may not have read the Bible in a while but i can confidently state that ice cream is not mentioned anywhere from Genesis to Revelations. Maybe in the Apocrypha somewhere, but i doubt it.

Here is what i do know: God is love. We are to love one another. Ice cream is good.

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