Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Out of the Box Christian

My Peaceful Space

Religion, it’s a recurring theme in my life. Just the other day I was in Starbucks, anxiously awaiting my Caramel Frappaccino (my other religion), when a very attractive black man in a suit came up to me and said, “Do you practice?” I wasn't sure what he was referring to, and at first I thought he was asking if I was a practicing attorney because this particular Starbucks is on the bottom floor of a law firm. He clearly saw the puzzled look on my face and pointed to my bracelet, and said, “Is that just an accessory or do you practice?” Ohhhh! I finally got it. My bracelet had Buddhas all over it and he wanted to know if I was a practicing Buddhist. I thought about it for a second and wondered if I should give this complete stranger my true beliefs on religion, or the quick and easy answer, which would have been, “I’m a Christian.” The easy answer, however, just does not cover the full story of how I feel about religion. I’m a Christian, but there is so much more to it than that. I decided to be open and give him the more. I said, “No I’m not a Buddhist, but I’m a very out of the box Christian, open to all religions. I practice bits and pieces of many religions, including  practicing some Buddhism, because in the end don’t we all want the same thing from whatever religion it is that we practice?” He literally looked at me, smiled, took my hand in both of his hands, and said, “Thank you, that’s exactly how I feel and I’m so very happy to meet you!” In that moment, two strangers understood that if we all open our minds and hearts to each other, the world would be a much more peaceful place. It was a pretty cool moment.

A few days after that, my sister and I were talking and she told me how she loved the fact that my friends were from so many different backgrounds, ages and religions. She is so right! My friends are a we are the world gumbo. I have friends that are Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Mormon, Muslim, Atheist, Goddess, Universe, and I’m sure I’m missing something else, but you get the idea. I love them all. I respect them all. I’m thankful they are all in my life. Period.

As a child I was raised as a Lutheran -- I even taught Sunday school -- but as I got older I held on to some beliefs and let go of others, while opening my mind to so many more. Being in an interracial marriage automatically frees your mind. How could it not? We are living a life that is not the norm, but it’s a life filled with love, so why would a religion that is not my norm be any different?

Religion to me is now all about faith, peace, love, kindness, caring and giving. I pray to Jesus. I meditate to Buddha. I talk to God. I look to the Universe. It’s all good as far as I’m concerned! So when someone asks me what my religion is, I have to ask, “Do you really want to know?” If the answer is yes….well then….”I’m an out of the box Christian and so much more!

(Originally posted April, 2011)

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amy it is just so funny I am like you. I am a Christian, raised Luthern. But I believe in so many thing. I don't look at caring Star of David that you are Jewish or meditate like Dali Lama teach I follow him or have Buddha in my purse (for real) I follow there teaching. I love Religion I read about it almost every day because if we learn about others and there believes we start open our hearts. The other day I was watching the T.V. and There was Donald Trump totally making fool of him self. Like always he was running his mouth and was asked about Middle East and Terrorist. He said they are all Muslim and he have not seen Swedish Muslim fly into Twin tower. That just show you people need to learn about religion and Others Country because Sweden have Muslims and if one of the came extremists he would follow Bin Ladin and become a terrorist. People really need to learn and not judge anyone or anything until you know all the facts. Love Solrun.

Amy Wise said...

Solrun I love your open heart and mind! How funny that we were both raised Lutheran. I too love to learn about all religions. The more we know the less ignorant we are. It's so basic. Knowledge is key. Hugs and love to your rainbow family! Love A.

Cathy said...

Great piece Amy. And I admit, my own altar looks very similar to the one in the photo ;) Mine also has a poem (Damn the torrent of ecstasy when it runs to flood...) by Rumi and a couple of postcards of the work of Beato Angelico and Michaelangelo. The divine manifests everywhere...

From Cathy, at She Writes

Amy Wise said...

Cathy thank you! I'm so happy to hear your feel the same way. I truly believe that if more minds were open, peace would be just around the corner! I also have a book of inspiration and prayers on my table as well. My day always ends up being so much better when I start it with my peaceful corner. Thanks for reading and commenting! Have a beautiful day!

Amy

Madgew said...

Love this.

Amy Wise said...

Thank you Madge! Welcome home from China!!!! You were missed!!!

Heather said...

Amy,

What a great post. I love reading spiritual materials, meditating, etc. Raja Yoga is what I follow and I love that anybody can practice these spiritual exercises- it doesn't matter if you are Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. etc. I LOVE Paramhansa Yogananda. I read his "Autobiography of a Yogi" and it changed my life for the better. I read everything by him, but I also love the Sufi Poets, Hafiz and Rumi. All three inspire so much love in my heart. Sufism is the mystical realm of Islam, and to me - incredibly inspiring. I love it that America has opened up more and more to Eastern teachings. There's a great new book out that talks about this, it's called "American Veda". Check it out if you get time. Great to be in touch again! I've missed you, Lady!
Heather In Missouri

Amy Wise said...

Heather!

I'm so happy to be in touch again! Yay! I had no idea that you were "out of the box" as well! I love it! No wonder we clicked! Thank you for sharing your beliefs with me!

So very happy to be back in touch...missed you as well and think of you often.

Hugs and love...A.

Lori said...

the rituals are not the message. so much confusion over HOW we connect to source, rather than just honoring the fact that there are so many ways to connect. love this, Amy! oH! and by the way, Buddhism is a philosophy, not a religion. more confusion ;)

matters that matter said...

wonderful piece...my religious preference is LOVE, just pure and simple...LOVE! anything less than that doesn't seem to be especially productive.

Cheryl Moseley said...

Beautifully written. I feel exactly the same way. I just shared on FB.

Amy Wise said...

Lori, Kristine and Cheryl,

Thank you all for your words, your kindness and your love. I treasure each one of you.

Love A.

jen revved said...

Wonderful post, Amy... xxxj

Amy Wise said...

Thanks Jen!

It really is so simple if everyone was just willing to be open to each other. Thanks for stopping by! A. xoxo