Jane Fonda is here today to talk to my boss and fellow executives during their weekly Friday lunch - and I wonder what she is going to talk about. She lives here in Atlanta now. I know she stirs up a lot of controversy - especially because her Vietnam stand and actions. But I think she is a very interesting woman. I read an article yesterday about her finding Christianity and could relate to a lot of what she was saying. I'm struggling with it myself. I was raised a Christian and felt as though I was "saved" when I was 19, but it wasn't in a very "acceptable" way according to Christians I have talked to. But I've never been a practicing Christian because of so many things I consider negative associated with it. I'm beginning to think that I might be a Christian, just not like any - or many - I've met thus far. I do not fit in to any sort of mold and I struggle with some of the things the Bible says. I wonder how much of it has been changed by man over the years. Can I rejoice in the parts that ring true and turn away from the parts that don't? How can I accept things that I feel God would never condone - that I can't condone because of my dealings with God thus far? I read of God's "wrath" and it doesn't ring true with my experience with God. I don't associate wrath with God at all.
I keep bumping into Christianity these days as though I'm being called to take a closer look. Are they coincidences? Here is a quote from Jane Fonda about coincidences:
"... And from that time forward, I became aware of, I call them coincidences. I just became very aware that the absolute right person would come into my life at the moment that I needed to know something. The exact right book would come into my hands. Oftentimes by people I didn't know. They were like sign posts! And I thought, "Has this been going on all along and I just didn't notice?"
And along about that time, I heard Bill Moyers say, "Coincidences are God's way of manifesting," and that lodged in me."
I think I relate to Jane because she is still finding her way too. It's easier to talk to those who are still searching. I've never been a black and white person; I'm a gray person. It's difficult for me to have someone tell me "This is the way it is" when it doesn't feel right to me and everything in my being says it can't be true. Are there different flavors of Christianity? Which flavor is the right one? Or, are there a few universal truths and the rest is based on love and kindness - and you take it from there? And, if I am a Christian, does that mean I have to think that other peoples' religions are false? That there is only one way to God even though some people have never been exposed to that one way?
Has man made a mess of Jesus and Christianity - and all that it really means? How does one get through the mess and clutter, the politics and patriarchy - to the essence and heart?