Last night, around 9 pm I received this text;
"I in the spirit of the Lord have already judged you. I now deliver you into the hands of satan for the destruction of your flesh, so that your spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord." 1 Corinthians 5:3-5
This text was from an student who did not complete initiation about 4 years ago. Three quarters of the way through her neophyte stage, she stopped turning in work. She stopped, she admitted, because in an intoxicated state, God had physically spoken to her through her bible.
About a year after this, and many odd situations, she called me about needing a job and I helped get her one where I worked. It was clear that she had converted back to Christianity and, of course, I could not have cared less about this fact. She got fired about a year or so after that and moved away. I had not heard from her in about 2 years until last night, when I received the above text.
I have not experienced much religious harassment in the last 12 years. I now live in a wonderful community that is not only tolerant of my beliefs but accepts them and they often ask me fore help in their lives and in the lives of their loved ones. This text was shocking and, sad to say, scared me. It took me back to the days of when I was traveling, teaching workshops, and fundamentalist Christians would stand outside our buildings and watch our parades (which we had a legal permit for) with signs stating that we ate babies and hurled food at us in order to degrade and humiliate us. At that time I was 18 and it was a huge turning point for me. To decide how I felt about these people and what my faith a spiritual path would show me with how to deal with them, how to treat others, and how to be accepting and tolerant.
Without suffering those abuses, it may have taken me a lot longer to learn how to love those who do not love me. I may have never learned-I can not say. This is when my relationship with Sophia, Mother of God and wisdom, and her 3 daughters, Hope, Faith, and Charity, developed. I needed to be all of these; wise, hopeful, faithful, and charitable to all-not just those whom I liked or who liked me.
With this text this person has attempted to make me fearful of something she believes I do not understand or that I don't believe in myself. She has created a false dilemma; that since I am not of her path then I must surely be against her god and therefore, belong to satan.
It is funny how people believe things are so black and white and can not see any shade of grey. How they limit what is "right" down to such a narrow line, that it can barely be followed by the average person. And can not be followed at all by a logical person using reason.
Everything is up for interpretation. You can choose to to let the bible put fear in you or you can choose to learn love, tolerance, and faith from it.
This is what I remember from the bible;
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:7
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles. Proverbs 24:17
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6
For the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out. Proverbs 24:20
But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear ; do not be frightened."
Take Courage.1 Peter 3:14
Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it. Ezra 10:4
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.1 John 4:20-21
I could go on, but this bring me to the point of this post...
Today I received this letter from a client;
Just a note to thank you for your work, oh and the extra goodies you always include in my orders. I was "taking stock" today of my apothecary. I am glad to to have my spirit-sacred oils from you. I am working to get things right on a somewhat solitary path. No grannies, mom, or others to assist me now!
I pray every day now. I try to give worthy offerings to Papa Legba and I talk to him, asking for his help and permission to pray to the Orisha that they will assist me. I am so grateful for you. Your very existence has helped me back to a spirit path after YEARS of neglect. Blessings and prosperity to you, dear one."
Obviously, this letter came at just the right time:) The universe is good at that!
You will have times in your life when you are persecuted. For your ethnicity, for your culture, for your sexuality, and/or for your religion. Though we can work to surround ourselves with people who do not abuse us, we we can't shut out the world, and these people exist in our world. HOWEVER, your faith is what will steer you through. YOUR faith. NOT the faith of someone else, or the faith someone wishes you would be, or frightens you into falsely having. The faith that is in your heart because the divine is within you. Your intuition, your mind, your senses, your emotions, your guts, your core, your root. Listen to these to help you steer clear of these people and when you can not steer clear, trust in these divine parts of your own body and psyche. Reach into them for the strength that is there and do not fear because, indeed, it IS there. It always was and it always will be, for the divine does nor forsake us. The divine does not ignore, hack away at, or neglect parts of it's self, no matter how you may feel or what someone tells you in a text.
Do not fear, because then they begin to strip you of your divine worth and power. They begin to strip you of your faith, your common sense, your reason, your intuition. Everything that allows us to trust ourselves and gives us the freedom to make powerful, positive choices for ourselves. Everything that allows us to NOT have to rely on others interpretations of what is right or rely on words printed on flimsy paper.