A reading from the book of Vanessa, written in wonder and self-discovery, dissecting her relationship with the Big Guy!
Sometimes the most beautiful things are right outside your door.

I watched a limited series on Netflix at the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown called Unorthodox. It’s about a Yiddish woman who, in her words, said that God wanted too much of her, and so she fled her husband and Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, New York and moved to Berlin, Germany to face, not only the epicentre of her people’s historic pain of the Holocaust, but that of her own – an estranged mother who was ostracized by their church for being gay and whom she thought had abandoned her.

By the end of her harrowing tale, the 19-year-old, her mother, her husband and her new-found friends discovered what some may argue to be her true purpose – a voice that resonated even with me. I had no clue what she sang in German and Yiddish. I do know that this woman’s demure appearance was no match for her larger than life gift.

My interpretation of it all? God finds you… even when you’re running from Him.

One of my oldest and dearest friends suggested I write about my relationship with God and it’s, uniqueness on this site so I tried to find a song that spoke to that relationship while staying true to myself.

Enter Mr. Mister’s Kyrie.

For anyone who wasn’t raised in the Christian faith – the Catholic or Anglican (insert Vanessa here) church in particular – the phrase ‘Kyrie, Eleison’ may be foreign. Translated from its Greek origin, the two words make up a simple phrase, which is, in fact, a prayer: Lord, have mercy.

As a child, I grew up singing those words every Sunday in my church’s children’s choir in its extended form. (Add ‘upon us’ at the end, sing it three times, tack on a verse using the ‘Christ’ instead of ‘Lord’ and you’ve got a winner).

Whew chile, I did my best to feel everything I sang when I was a kid. Even when it aggravated the hell out of my family. I was especially annoying on Saturday mornings when I woke up with the roosters to go outside and stand between my cousin Coral (RIP) and my grandaunt’s houses and make a horrid attempt to sing any song I could think of in opera form.

Everyone threw rocks – proverbial and literal (stupid ass boys) – until my grandaunt told them all to stand down and let me express myself. It didn’t matter if it was the theme song for Fraggle Rock, I belted it out in the worst way at 6:30 am. Ah, the good old days.

Things went downhill for my relationship with God when I lost her to stomach cancer. My earthly rock was gone. (That’s a separate blog post). I was 15 and I blamed Him for the worst transitional period of my life. (Another post). I thought I hated Him and tried to shut Him out. Heck, I even tried to kill myself (yeah, yeah – that’s another blog too).

I got lost.

I was still going to church, but I was retreating, screaming inside really. I was angry – no. I was fucking PISSED OFF. (And another one)

I kept my cool though, bided my time and, at the age of 20, left the country for university, and to start over – with Him. I didn’t realize it at the time but that’s what began to unfold.  I think the most annoying thing about God is His patience.  Don’t get me wrong, we should all be glad that He is, but it’s a real pain in the ass to embrace perfection daily while confronting your own inadequacies and know that it will always be that way. And, yes, that’s another post but I digress.

As I got older and began to question everything in my life, I began to feel disconnected from the church. Like most humans, I tried my hand at different denominations and explored different faiths. I came to realize that they all had their issues and If I wanted to stay connected to God then I’d have to do it in my own way. So, I stopped going. I stopped listening to broadcasts from other churches and just blocked out all the noise and just tried to listen.

Two things became apparent. The first was that I could talk to the Big Guy whenever I wanted. The second – He talks back. Go figure.

Which brings us to this section of this site. It’s pretty much going to be a zig-zag of my relationship with the Big Guy. There will be flowers and there will be shit (that part’s all me). Above all, there will be the truth, my truth so cursing will be involved at some points.

Hey, it’s MY wog (walk/jog – because humans never follow basic instructions) with God. How I embraced Him, told Him to kick rocks, tried to run away from Him – and failed miserably, rediscovered Him, ran away from Him (again), rediscovered Him, Again (see the recurring theme? No? you sure you passed out of 5th grade? Too judgy? Sorry.)  and now do my best daily to get out of my own way and surrender the reigns of my so-called life to Him.

That last part is a work in progress…

I’m not sure if I’ll ever attend church physically on the regular again. I do know that I’m an Anglican and I will stay one till the day I die. I love the structure, the passion and the purpose of my first faith. But like, everything else that’s filled with humans and I’m just not a fan of the four walls. Also, like everyone else, I’m evolving so I’m going to explore other ways to worship and I figure I’ll physically go to church ‘when the spirit moves me’ as the old folks would say.

In the meantime, I’ll stick to being my true self with God and be forever grateful to St. Agnes for teaching me basic Greek (and Latin) so I could wholeheartedly embrace what many consider to be a pop song from the ’80s for what it actually is… a prayer.

Song: Kyrie
Artist/Group: Mr. Mister
Album: Welcome to The Real World
Release date: 1985

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