Izzi Lynn

Religion from the Eyes of Someone Unrepentant and Full of Love

i. faith comes in waves, like the ebb and the flow of the ocean. it comes over you like the crossing of a river. the river swells, swells, swells, and it is terrifying sometimes. the river is raging past stones and other obstacles, throwing up white froth like the bubbling jaws of a wild animal diseased and full of madness. the water is also something comforting. it does not stop simply because you do not cross it. nor does it abate for you. it simply is. the water is something incredible, something awesome in the biblical sense of the word. faith is something each person must find for themselves. your faith is not your neighbor\'s. your faith is not your sister\'s. your faith is not your mother\'s or your father\'s. your faith is yours and yours alone. however, i say one thing: when your faith tells you someone else is unclean, is hellbound, is evil, perhaps it is time to begin questioning your faith. 

ii. yes, i believe in a full-of-fury, almighty, vengeful and wrathful and full-of-power-and-unafraid-to-use-it God. yes, i believe in the God who struck adam and eve from the garden for their sin, who would not (perhaps could not) forgive them for their sin. the God who brought forth such terrible storm the entire earth was flooded beneath his righteous fury, the God who barred moses from the promised land for his transgressions, the God who set plagues upon plagues upon plagues on egypt. yes, i believe in that terrifying, awe-inspiring being who took the damp universe into his hands and made it bloom into something beautiful and yet also monstrous. yes, i believe in the God who forged the universe with his own two hands (or perhaps four or six or a thousand appendages made of stars and grace). 

iii. but i also believe in the God who loved his children with such passion that he took his unrestrainable, insuppressable, indomitable, uncontrollable power and wrestled it into the shape of a soul and allowed himself to be born human, born mortal. his mother, the virgin (yes, the indomitable woman of steel and fire, yes, Mary was the perfect mother of God), gave birth to him through blood and screams, his naked body swaddled in cotton. i also believe in the God who took up a new name, Jesus, boy of deliverance, boy of holy grace, boy of love that cannot (will not) abate. yes, i also believe in the Jesus who had compassion, who has so much love it overflows from him like a fountain of holy water. yes, i also believe in the Jesus who gave money to the poor and healed the lepers, who heard the grief and prayers and took lazarus and breathed life back into him. yes, i believe in the Jesus who kneeled in the garden, fear in his chest like a multi-colored moth fluttering fluttering fluttering and prayers on his tongue like hibiscus fruit and syrian pears. yes, i believe in the Jesus who had fear in his heart but still love beat inside him like a wild wild creature. yes, i believe in the Jesus whose hands and feet were pierced in metal consecrated in his holy blood and begged his Father to save these sinners, save these men, even as their wild savageness tore him apart from the inside out. yes, i believe in the Jesus who knew from the very beginning that he was destined to be slaughtered by the very people he so dearly loved and still sought only to love and share love, to teach and share his Father\'s words, to guide with a gentle hand, to forgive all the sins we have made. 

iv. so yes, i believe in a God the Father with righteous anger (and it is deserved sometimes and i cannot find it within me to condemn his thunderstrike temper) and galaxy hands. but i also believe in a God the Son with puschkinia flowers in his hair and skin the color of the earthen beauty his Father wrought into being. and i also believe in a God the Son with the word yesha always bright on his lips (redemption, the angels croon from far above) and the same all-mighty power God the Father has but instead of floods and justice and divine cleansing, there is hyssop blooming in his steps and galbanum on his hands like sticky ripe peach juice and absolution in his voice, always, always. every water he bathes in becomes baptismal waters. 

v. i believe in the Jesus who kissed me last night in my dreams and told me that he has loved me since the very beginning. i believe in the God who took my awful awful nightmares and banished them and held me in his oak leaf hands and shielded me from my mind straining straining straining against my mortality. i believe in the Jesus who who i asked for forgiveness as a child once and he told me, child, there is nothing to be sorry for. stop doubting that we love you. the stars would kiss you if i let them. the ocean would surge up to love you if i let it. i believe in the God that i begged as a child for some sign, some sign, some sign, and he sent Mary the Mother to my sister and therein was the promise of absolution. i believe in the Jesus who took my hands in his during a time of grief and promised it will get better. i believe in the God who has always loved me and will always love me. 

vi. faith comes like this: i was a young girl once who dreamed in color, always, and had no idea what to do with all the righteous fury bubbling inside her chest; but Mary cried tears of blood in church one day and i knew then that it isn\'t enough to simply feel righteous anger, you must be righteous in the way that children cry when they read your words and change echoes in your footsteps. faith comes like this: i saw a bear devouring a carcass once and realized, our mortal bodies are born from the earth and someday they will return to the earth and there is nothing to fear in that. faith comes like this: i was a young girl who felt too much, who felt everything too sharply, too deeply, and could not handle all the feelings constantly bubbling up inside her; and God came in the form of a mentor and said, \"take your pain and all your joy and turn it into writing and it will dull, i promise,\" and so i did. faith comes like this: my biology teacher tells me about how life first crawled from the sea holding its beating heart in its hands with a viciousness that still burns inside us and i could not help but think, what beauty is it that we have come so far? faith comes like this: the storm is something beautiful too. 

vii. i pray for lucifer sometimes. more often, i ponder him. samael, i think people often say your name is translated into something similar to the \"poison of God,\" but samael, i think your name means something closer to the same thing as when a star burns, when a star dies, and isn\'t that pretty? lucifer, samael, i often wonder which one came first. in my humble opinion, i think you were lucifer first. lucifer the light-bringer. did you not take the grace shining so brightly inside you and fashion it into the shape of holy burning stars? did you not hang the constellations in the sky aeons ago? did you not? lucifer, were you not once God\'s beloved? lucifer, you were loved. you still can be. (stars are reborn, you know. one star\'s remains fuels another and another and another and another-). you fell because of your pride, light-bringer. you fell because of your anger, because of your selfishness, light-bringer. or so i presume. your story is not clarified often in the Word. but lucifer, i do know this: you are still something holy beneath all the splintered bones and bitter taint of betrayal. lucifer, i hope you find peace someday. lucifer, i hope you find forgiveness someday. 

viii. what does sanative mean? what is healing? healing is this: Elohim reaches for your soul with hands soft like rose petals and tender summer-ripe peaches and takes the charcoal swelling inside you and purifies it into something beautiful. healing is this: Elohim takes your open wounds and kisses them with lips made of stars that cauterize the pain and burn away all of the disease. healing is this: Elohim kisses the wounds with honeyed lips, with magnolia lips, with blackberry lips that turn open wounds to scars. healing is this: Elohim finds the splintered fragments inside you and sews them back together in the shape of a soul and you are stronger now. healing is this: you reach for the light and it reaches back. 

ix. i am consecrated ground and evil cannot touch me now. i am holy, and that is unchangeable. Father has made me so.

x. what i\'m trying to say is: God made us in his image, does that not mean we are all made of stars and holy things? what i\'m trying to say is: God loves us, he has always loved us and he will always love us. what i\'m trying to say is: there is no wrong way to love, so love and love and love and love. what i\'m trying to say is: there is no sin in being human. what i\'m trying to say is: the best way to be holy is simply to do good by others and yourself.