My relationship with Jesus Christ has been an evolutionary path with many twists and turns. I grew up in a very fundamental church and upon reaching the third grade I was given a “Book of Prayer” which dogmatically asserted the theology of that religion. From that book I quote:
“O thou great God, who art just and holy, I, thy sinful, unclean creature, come before thee in deep humility, confessing my many sins and my total unworthiness. In the wounds of Jesus Thou has provided cleansing for my uncleanness and pardon for my sinful nature.”
Hearing this as a 7-year-old was quite confusing. I was left with a sense of unworthiness, shame and guilt over the death of Jesus to the point he became the enemy.
As I grew older, I rejected the church I was raised in and divorced myself from all religion. In addition, I rejected Jesus Christ and found no value in anything he said or did, and Jesus became a “nobody.” I held strongly to this view until I was in my early thirties when I went through a two-year period of failures, setbacks and drug addiction. After an overdose, it became apparent to me that I needed a relationship with a higher power, and in my search I found Unity. It was like the dark, morose, heavy “drapery” on the stage of life was pulled back and for the first time I was able to see meaning and purpose to my life. Through Unity I was taught that Jesus was an example to follow and not an exception beyond human potential. Over time he became a role model, mentor and comforter. His message was no longer one of condemnation but of support. Instead of enforcing the self-image of a “sinful, unclean creature” that I once held, he uplifted me to a beautiful new awareness of beholding the Christ in all people. From where I came to where I am is the difference between heaven and hell.