On God and Burdens: Lay Them Down

God, as chewing gum.
I spent many summers at a Christian camp in central Massachusetts. Formative years. It was there that I learned that if I would only accept Jesus, I could have everlasting life. I was in sixth grade, and got saved in a sleeping bag. I was reading Romans Book 10 by flashlight under the covers when Jesus walked in.  I started shaking and cried. Everything hit me, all at once. I had found salvation. It was a beautiful summer. 

It's too bad, or maybe it isn't, that I lost salvation four years later, lying on my back in a cranberry bog looking up that stars with Jessica. Jessica had spiky hair and one earring. She said God does not exist. That he might just be a chewed up piece of bubble gum. I believed her. 

And that's when things got interesting. 

I never forgot the songs from camp, and I still know the words to almost all of them. One that comes to mind this morning: 

Glory, Glory
Hallelujah
When I lay my burdens down

Glory, Glory
Hallelujah
When I lay my burdens down

It's so damn true. At the end of last summer, when we got back from Ireland, I started writing a book. It was to be about travel, identity, and several decades of an unfolding love affair with a man, with a music, and with a culture. But I arrived back from Ireland to a lot of sick people and was poised or in the process of losing two siblings and my father, and still mourning the loss of my other brother. In order to get to the Ireland story, I had to wade through the "America" story, which, as it turns out, has had some distinctly dark and twisted moments. 

I just finished writing it all this morning, just before checking in with you. You know what? 72 pages later and sweet relief. 

The old song was right:  

Glory hallelujah... the burdens are lain down. 



Comments

Popular Posts