I wasn't brought up religious. My family didn't go to church. Once I was too old for the Easter bunny, Easter faded in significance for me (until I found a different significance for it). It's not that we were anti-religious. My father was a deep seeker and has read the foundational texts for most of the world's religions. The deeper things of the soul were highly valued, but there was a wide open view of what those might be when I was growing up.
Which brings us to the part of the story that I never seem able to fully convey to someone who hasn't been there. Sometimes I just say, "I used to be born-again." But that is a pale half-description of it. Though it gets the gist across, for anyone who hasn't been there, they see it a bit the way you'd see the confession of a former cult member. They joke about being "in recovery." It's not that simple. My understanding of faith and God has shifted, and the way in which I connect with the higher power has changed. But "recovered" seems the wrong word. And it makes me sad that I can't really convey what the journey meant for me, or that the entire notion of religion and Christianity has become so tainted with politics, so besmeared with human confusion, that it is reduced to something flat and bland when the exact opposite should be true.
Certain moments stand out in my mind for their depth and mystery - the moment when I "came to Christ," as it is most often described, the moment I was baptized, Easter sunrise services. When I write, sometimes I am trying to find a way to convey the depth of such experiences, without veering into the known, overused, misunderstood words, phrases and perspectives. Whatever God may be, it is far, far beyond what we can capture. The effort to reach for that understanding should be rich, textured, layered, anything but simplistic.