This is a question that many of the people I know would ask me when I met them here in the US. And I would think, “Yeah! Jesus, the guy who cleans my car.” Jesus was also my aunt in Peru. Of course in my country there are plenty of Jesuses that I know. A little after, I found out that was the question that these people would ask me to see if I was Christian.
Am I a Christian? You will give your verdict after you are done reading my blog. But for sure I was surprised at how many churches and Christian denominations we have here in the U.S. I come from a country in which the majority is raised Catholic. Some practice Catholicism and others just have it as a tradition. So I assume that it couldn’t get any more religious than Peru. Well, I was wrong.
Back in my young years, many Catholics (including myself) were very reluctant of the evangelical churches. Some of us we would avoid them; they always had something to say about Jesus, and it was not the Jesus who cleans my car or my aunt, LOL. So I would always be very polite and just tell them I was not interested in hearing about it.
So far you guys may notice my TrueSelf, right? I am big on being me, being transparent, and being the way I want to be no matter what. Well, I have been that way pretty much all of my life. I was never a practicing Catholic, and as soon as I could make my own decisions I did it my way. I was baptized Catholic, and I had to do the First Communion. When the time came for Confirmation, I skipped it during my high school years. College came, and there was an opportunity to be confirmed, so I took a chance to prepare for that. After a few months, I was advised by the priest not to be confirmed. I was okay with that, but the next year it looked that it would be pretty convenient to just be confirmed since the guy I was dating was Catholic and in case our relationship would get us to matrimony that would be a good idea. So I shut my mouth this time, I agreed with everything they said, and voilà, I got confirmed.
I am so grateful for the family I had. My mom let me think on my own and speak up. Nobody really got in your religious business; it was fabulous. After a few years when I moved to Colorado, I was blessed to date someone who was not a religious guy. Thank goodness or this would not have taken us anywhere. We got married, in a courthouse, and when our baby boy was born we did not baptize him in spite of all the advice of how wonderful that would be. My TrueSelf kicked in and that is how we lived for a few more years.
But life loves giving us experience, doesn’t it? Because I am social and extroverted and like being friends with everybody, guess with what group of people I became friends? With Christians. And hey, you might be a Christian, and that is totally fine. Hopefully you don’t take this personally, this is just my perception. Well, for me it felt it was the Christian club: you had to belong and agree that was the only way to God. People would start with their questions: if I knew who Jesus was, if I was a believer. With my TrueSelf face I would give them a look and say, “A believer?” Yeah, I believe many things. It felt like a club, and yes I know who Jesus was (and again I am not talking about the guy who cleans the car or my aunt). I am talking about the son of Mary. Not me, Mary, LOL. So when I said, “Yes, I know,” so many of those people wanted to know if I accepted him as my lord and savior. And I would flatly answer: “No, I don’t need to be saved.”
Well, being my TrueSelf with church here in Colorado has been very difficult and painful. Many people would tell me to just lie or just follow whatever they said. Who cares? Well, I cared. As strong as some of these Christians would feel about their beliefs, I felt equally strong in telling them that I didn’t believe the same. But that didn’t stop me from hanging out with many of them. Some let me be; some wanted to convert me; some still ask me how I feel about Jesus, and I have to keep telling myself: “Mary, they are not talking about your aunt.”
I got so tired about all this Jesus thing. I kind of wanted to yell: “Leave me alone!!” But life again surprised me, and my husband became a Christian. Oh my God! It felt like a back stabbing thing for me. So because of that, I became more involved with Christianity. I thought I had to support my husband, and that is what I did. But that made me feel even more sure of what I believed, and I was happy that I was not “in the club.”
They keep talking about unity and how they can get more people to convert to the Jesus’ way. Well, that doesn’t cut it for me. I feel pretty much that they outcast other people. They say they don’t; I already had a talk about that, but they do. There are many ways to get from point A to B, and for me there is no “only way to God.” I totally understand how Christians feel about Jesus. How do I know? I have been in plenty of Bible study groups. I have gone to church numerous times, and I live with a Christian who discusses the Bible on a regular basis. So I get their point and I respect it, but quite often I do not feel respected for my beliefs. They think the more they teach me that I might see the light, well I am the light according to me, so that does not work.
Whatever is your path I accept it; your own truth is your truth. Maybe being my TrueSelf is inconvenient for some, and for me as well a couple of times, but it is worth it. It makes me stronger in my beliefs and in my path. Now I walk even stronger because of those who rejected me. I can say without guilt and shame that this is me. If I sin, it is my choice, and if I do, let me regret it or enjoy it. Just let me be.
To end this Jesus blog, who do I think Jesus the son of Mary is? I think Jesus is you; Jesus is your neighbor; we are all equal to Jesus. He was a teacher of being his TrueSelf; he was even killed trying to be his own truth. His level of consciousness is one that we all should aim to have. Some of you are closer and some of you are not. But who cares; it is your path. I believe that being your TrueSelf will get you there.
If you love Jesus or you don’t, I tell you that you are fine, you are beautiful and you are worthy. Life is amazing, but yet I still don’t understand many things about it. In other blogs I will talk more about religion, my relationship with church, my arguments with priests and what I think God is. And thank you to all of my many Christian friends that still accept me for who I am.