Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sin is just nis spelled backward

Yes, I took a day off yesterday from blogging for my birthday. I don’t think that’s a sin, is it?

That’s a word I really have never liked and am still uncomfortable with it, but less so since I became acquainted with the idea of it being out of sync with God. The concept I grew up with was one of judgment and always smacked of human control over others.

I have recently wrestled with something that stuck deep into my core way back when I was a preschooler. In Sunday school, at that young age, we were handed a black book of colored pages and, when we opened to the black ones, were told our hearts were black with sin. How on earth can anyone tell a three-year-old that – or anyone else? It still makes my blood boil. If anyone ever says that to my children, I may temporarily drop my pacifist tendencies.

I wonder if that experience set me up for self-doubt struggles or just pushed a button somewhere.

I do realize that even at 3, I intuitively knew that was not the truth and, as a result and over the years, tuned out anyone telling me what to believe. Why wouldn’t I when something so basic I was taught went against every fiber in my body?

It’s been a wonderful lesson in knowing that children really do get things spiritually -- perhaps more so than adults as they have not accumulated the filters we have. That’s been reinforced by my own children and those in a spiritual nurture group I facilitate. I have learned so much from them.

Just look at my daughter Autumn’s blog [http://autumnsaffirmations.blogspot.com] She amazes me with her depth and wisdom. Several years ago we attended something called The Gathering, a weeklong time of Quaker worship, workshops and community on a college campus. I helped a friend with her sessions and we fell into this pattern of the girls and I setting up the room each evening after dinner. They began doodling on the chalkboards and leaving little messages of encouragement for the class the next day. The adults loved it and came to expect those affirmations.

My best friend’s son, my “other” child, can read auras and sees images when grasping your hand, which he then interprets. I call him my mountain sprite.

Reminds me of once when I said to my husband: “God is just dog spelled backward” and little ears were listening. It became a joke, but there was a kernel of truth about how limiting (or loaded) a word can be.

Sin is just nis spelled backward.

• Am I as open as I was as a child?
• What was hurtful to me then?
• Have I explored and learned from that?
• How do I feel about the word sin?
• What’s my definition?

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