Sunday, April 22, 2012

Belonging and Believing

My Husband and I have yet to really discuss faith or religion in regards to our Son.

I would simply be happy to know he had some,
faith that is.

I can't say that what form that faith takes weighs too heavily on me.

I can however say that belonging and believing are two very important concepts to me.

Two words that are naturally entwined to me,
is it possible to do one without having the other?
I don't believe so.

As a matter of fact, my own personal sense of belonging has always faded when believing became less plausible.

I actually surprised myself when I suggested our Son be Baptized.

I thought I had left those ideas tucked away with a much younger version of myself.

My Husband supported me and he actually wore the same gown I was christened in 40+ years ago,
our baby, not my Husband :).

My Baptismal gown

Now I can't entirely credit (or blame) my early religious training for that,
I'm just a nervous guy that didn't want to take a chance.

Heck, at our wedding I wanted a Priest a Chuppah AND I wanted to jump a broom,
I only got one.

Our Wedding Day

Like taking all the good traditions,
from every type of faith,
and stirring it all up in a giant holy pot and serving it with a side of humor and a grain or two of salt.

So, obviously our family will be having some interesting discussions in the near future.

My Husband, although only lightly raised in his families own watered down version of the Protestant faith.
Has now turned his eyes and heart towards Judaism.
He is considering conversion.

I love him and support him but will not be following suit.
Judaism is too smart for me.
Too much thinking,
too much reading,
although wearing a yarmulke brilliantly hides my bald spot!

I'm like a humming bird when it comes to religion.
Ever so lightly swooping down and taking my fill for as long as I need to, 
staying only as long as I believe,
and then moving on in search of where I belong.

So, will our boy believe and belong to a group or tribe that makes his heart sing?

Will he identify with the God that my Husband or I once did?

Will he be a faith-filled hybrid like the Dad that writes this story?

Will he be a scholar, a reader, a carrier of traditions like the Dad that sits across from me?

Or will he surprise us with his own revelations based on new experiences we have yet to meet?

All I can say at this moment in time as I close my eyes in prayer or chant or meditation or whatever,
is that he belongs to people that believe in him,
and I guess that's as good of a place to start as any.


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  1. This is an interesting blog post to me. I can't say that I was raised strictly Christian, but if I had to choose a faith that my family sort of aligned with it would be Christianity. As a child, I felt as though I was always just going through the motions of prayer, church attendance, etc., without fully believing or understanding all of it. As an adult, I do not commit to any one organized religion but do look to any and all of them for nuggets of wisdom. I consider myself agnostic, I guess.

    It's funny because this was one of the topics (explaining religion to children) that lead to the start of a company by my wife and me. We were preparing for a foster child under the age of 5 (we ended up getting a 12 year old) and wanted to build a library that showcase all kinds of families and covered all types of topics. When we couldn't find what we needed, we decided to create it: a hub that makes it easy to find multi-cultural LGBT children's books. (It's in its infancy so we don't yet have religious books, but we have signed two Jewish authors to pen a few).

  2. Thanks fir your comment Cheril...
    Imparting some sort of faith to our children is such an interesting idea...especially now, the way we find this world, and more so for some of our new traditional families. We have spent so much time redifining our families, our own stories, that religion has certain sense of that too we can redefine, recreate, modify...