This confession is not easy to write, but here I am. Awake in the middle of the night, writing while listening to worship music I haven’t been able to go near for months. I’ve been carrying a dead weight in my heart for some time now and it’s time for it to go.
I’ve blogged semi-extensively since last Spring about my disillusionment with parts of the Church and Christian community. It’s been therapeutic and others have affirmed my negative experiences. But the critique and the stewing and (sometimes) the rage have done a peculiar thing. Truthfully, it’s hardened my heart and driven a wedge between me and my God. I know Him objectively, scientifically, but in my heart He’s like an old friend who I remember fondly but can’t seem to reconnect with.
I’m active in my church. I participate fully in the liturgy and accept the Eucharist every Sunday. I lead a Bible study once a week. But something, a small something, hurts inside when I’m at church. And when I try to read the Bible in my personal time. I haven’t been able to effortfully pray for at least a year and a half. I don’t know how to look for the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit anymore.I rely on doubt and skepticism before employing faith and cringe internally when others share theirs. Like I said, I know the theology and the concepts, but I can’t see the forest for the trees, nor do I even really care to look. I know that God loves me but I’ve forgotten what that feels like. I’ve forgotten how to reciprocate.
This terrifies me. I want it to stop. And I don’t know what to do about it.
Below is a reconstructed version of the current Anglican Prayer of Confession. This confession is my new starting point and the words by which I will hold myself to account until I can figure this whole business out.
Most merciful God,
I confess that I have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what I have done,
and by what I have left undone.
I have not loved you with my whole heart;
I have not loved my neighbours as myself.
I have falsified my faith and created complacency
I have allowed myself to forget the glory of your goodness
I have let circumstance blind me from your faithfulness
I am truly sorry and I humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on me and forgive me;
that I may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.
I may have forgotten how to love God, but He hasn’t forgotten how to love me.