I Used to Love You

I Used to Love You

December 17, 2019 6 Comments

I sit back and ask myself, “How can I hate the very thing I once loved?”

Faith, Christianity, and God were once a vibrant part of my life. I was the kid who would start every morning before school in the bathroom praying at home.

I preached so often and loved every bit of it. Now all of that has changed or shifted just a tad.

The more conversations I have with people the more I realize how my views around faith have been torn up into shreds.

I love God. I really do love God.

However, I do not love the church. I have slightly given up on the church.

It is hard to reconcile the trauma that the church continues to give people.

I struggle at letting go.

I think I might have placed too many expectations on human people. Maybe I was too busy looking for them to fill a role that was impossible to fill.

I wish there was a space…A room… A crowd… A home…

For people to ask those hard questions and come to church as their true selves. I wish that people could come to church and feel safe and loved. I know it is a lot to ask for but is it impossible?

Is it impossible to hope for God to live and exist in so many various ways? For God to show up in real time and real space through human faces?

I want that church.

The church that allows me to thrive and doubt God if needed. The church that allows me to exist in fear sometimes and admit the flaws of my human condition without shame.

I need that church.

A church that looks like the handprint of God that reaches into the cosmos, exists in the chaos and chooses to love.

I know I am probably asking for a lot.

I guess I am asking for a church that does not exist now and still has the possibility to come. I guess we sit in church on Sunday mornings reaching for that world. Yet, it is hard to imagine.

People never teach you how to love the very thing you once loved. Every once in awhile I ask myself whether loving it again is necessary. I ask myself whether loving the church again should be a priority. Maybe I should let go or let it go. Maybe I should allow it to walk out my life and see if it will return again.

I wish pastors, ministers, and church leaders would talk more about that.

I wish they would focus less on my soul salvation and more on how my soul is actually doing. I wish they preached less about how God is going to bless me and more about how life can be disappointing.

I wish, Lord knows I wish, that we would focus less on the dos and don’ts and more on how we treat each other as God’s creation.

I get it that love letters are no longer sufficient. We are cussing and fighting now. You yell at me and I yell back at you. We both are torn. We both are learning how to exist in a world that is constantly changing. I changed but you refused to look different.

You laughed at my pain and said it was my fault. You picked at my wounds and said that God would heal them. You promised me redemption but I entered your doors every Sunday and left feeling less redeemable.

I know I have a lot of words for you. We could write a book about our love affair. We both have entangled so many different emotions together. Emotions that have left us confused, hurt, and mad. Angry…Torn…Bruised…Will we ever speak again?

I hope we can speak again.

I left but you keep showing up in my dreams.

I hope we can see each other again.

I know my love for you will grow again from the place that I used to love you.

 

 

________

My name is Tyrek Corry and I am a 2018 graduate in the Master of Divinity program at Duke Divinity School and the Master of Social Work program at UNC-Chapel Hill. I am from Gaffney, SC but have lived the last four years of my life in Durham, NC. My work focuses on the intersection of faith, race, education, and being a free black boy in America.

 

 

Up next, Put Me to Sleep, Doctor.

 

 

 

Photo by Abishek on Unsplash



6 Responses

Young Lee
Young Lee

February 17, 2020

There will never be a perfect church. I know. But I do hope you find true Gospel, plain and simple, that speaks directly to your heart. No filters. If you’re ever in Los Angeles, California, make a visit to Exodus3 in Downtown. :)

Paul H. Harder II
Paul H. Harder II

December 22, 2019

Brother, I feel your pain. I assure you, the Church can still be what it is called to be, and it still is, in places. The difficulty lies in finding that expression, because the Church you have given up on looks a lot like the one you seek. But it can still be found.

Karl Webb
Karl Webb

December 19, 2019

Oh! the things I could say. I could go on how the Church has lost its first love. I could go on how the Church resembles less the devotion of the early Christians and more resembles the Children of Israel worshipping a golden calf at the base of the mountain. I could go on how my bishop said he saw no call in my life when I was called by the audible voice of God to serve as a priest. I could go on about how my wife and I have been systematically abused by the Church, lied to by priests and bishops, and dismissed for not following whatever passing fad the Church now embraces.

I could go on. That phrase now has a double meaning.

St. Cyril once said, “He who has not the Church for his mother has not God for his Father.” Very true, but Mother Church has become an abusive and neglectful mother.

But I will say that I empathize. If, by the Grace of God, I do plant a church, it will be for the lowest of society no one wants to reach; those likewise abused by the Church. It should be a place of grace and love combined with the Christian discipleship that is so lacking in the church. In my dreams.

Until then, I grieve, I mourn, and I pray Jesus forgives me.

Yes, I empathize, Brother.

B. Jones
B. Jones

December 18, 2019

Thank you for your story and honesty.

Cory O'Neal
Cory O'Neal

December 18, 2019

Thank you for writing this bro. I know it was not easy. However, it is necessary. Keep on working.

Stuart K Watson
Stuart K Watson

December 18, 2019

What a lovely essay, Tyrek. Like many people reared in the Catholic church, I ran screaming from its embrace my first week away from home at college. Never looked back. Pushed religion away. I cohabited with a woman who had a deep faith but had fled the constriction of her own church, for something more of what you seek. I started helping her church with its active social outreach, and came to find a warm and welcoming community. Non-judgmental. Deliberately open and affirming. Big tent, as it describes itself, with room for a big time doubter like me. If you ever get to Hood River, Ore., give me a shout. We’ve got room in the pew for you.

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