I've always had a difficult time with the word salvation. To me, it creaks with judgement and reform. It hails a heavy handed demand especially if its bellowed out in exagerated pronouncements by a preacher overwrought with a twisted sense of entitlement. Do I really want to put myself in the hands of someone else who clearly feels it's their responsibility to save me from myself? What is that all about? They may see it as their vocation....to rescue us little sinners before its too late.....but I see it as an invasion of the body snatchers.
See? I don't really like the word and what it stands for. I'd rather walk away from a dose of body dunking salvation and risk the temptations of life's sins. I figure we can learn much about ourselves and others when we recognize we all like a little bit of sinnin' every once in a while. Mistakes and hard road learning bring voice to our otherwise rigidly confinings....I mean isn't it when we listen to that little "Id" in our heads that we push the boundaries....that we make headway into unchartered territory?
Obviously I'm not referring to the evil side of sinning....the killing, maiming, making others suffer through physical or emotional abuse or acting without thinking of the harmfulness on others. No, I'm simply referring to being bad. What would our lives be like if we weren't bad every now and then? I don't think we'd ever understand the depth of goodness. And what about kindness? What about love, forgiveness, empathy, trust? Would we really be able to internalize and apply these emotionally driven acts in our relationships if we didn't know the other side of the coin? I don't believe so. Suffering through the struggle....through the life lessons of knocks and gut kicks leave us with enlightened insights.
Sallllvaaaaaaaaaashshshshuuuuun ........... Oooooooweeee, isn't that a shivery sound? It turns me right off.
You know, after having thought about this word for a while...really putting some of my brain juices into action saying this word over and over in my head, I kind of think it may have been given a bum rap ... No doubt tele-vangelists and zealous leaders of church communities hungry for power and their ilk have overused this word and taken advantage of it too many times, maybe salvation can be seen with new eyes. Could it be that the whole process of salvation from sin allows us to find peace of mind? Maybe salvation holds the ingredients to finding and sustaining self affirming calm.
What if we took it on ourselves? What if we were able to work on our own salvation? Or maybe it's what we strive to do everyday as a means to seek repose. We work on this personal salvation project and continue to jump, skip, hop, crawl, dance, twirl, walk and run along the chosen roads in search of one thing....peace of mind. Most days, peace is as elusive as a whisper caught in the throngs of a crowded market place. Some days, it stares at us with a soul satisfying sigh.
Then there are moments of tenderness when serenity settles in the comfortable arrival at a place that feels like home. In order to get there though, we've got to drive through some pretty nasty unveiling of shame-filled secrets, recognizing our own faults and bad choices and somehow forgiving ourselves. And the only way I can think of to do this is to sit inside the shadow of a prayer every once in a while. Its where the chattering discord eventually halts and the inner storm retreats. I think.