To so many, it seems religion is this negative topic, this awkward subject that is shunned from conversation and that is so upsetting to me.
Ever since I was 8 years old, I wanted to talk about religion with everyone.
I remember so vividly a Sunday morning in the third grade. We were on our way to church and my mom said, “Cassie, Oma’s gonna love your new dress.”
For the first time, I questioned the fact that my grandmother only seemed to complement my dresses. “Why?” I asked.
“Oh, I just think she appreciates when you girls wear dresses to church. She’s not used to the way it is now.” That was the day a new passion sparked inside me.
I had always loved clothes. One of my best friends, Kodie, still makes comments about my knee high socks and bandanas of middle school, in a loving way, of course, his favourite being the bracelets that often went from my wrist to my elbow. That day, I wondered why God wouldn’t want me to express myself.
I started reading the Bible later that night. I found all these passages that talked about individuality and expression. I also found passages that explained that we are God’s children, we are living for God.
The more I read, the more I questioned my identity, style, and goals.
One day, years later, I was reading outside, lying in the grass. I will never forget noticing the sun’s warmth on my back, the way it seemed to dig into the ground, hearing the birds chirp and the trees rustling and feeling, for the first time, not in church but in God’s world that my Creator was smiling at me. He loved me and He loved this world, and that is something I had never felt in a Sunday morning service. This truly rattled me.
I want to be a pastor. In fact, I need to be. It is my call in life and I am already itching to serve it. But I want to bring more to my faith. I want people to experience that love every day. I want people to love God so much that they can’t go a day without talking to Him. I also want atheists and buddhists and catholics and Muslims to be able to come to my church and talk amongst everyone else and chat about similarities and differences and passions within and outside of their religions and come together in moments of realization that we are all loved and we are all called and we are all passionate. This is a crazy idea but it is a dream that I am determined to fulfill.
We shouldn’t argue about religion and fear conversations. Our differences are meant to be embraced.
Therefore we should wear what we want, too (although I don’t much like bandanas and knee high socks anymore).
Oh yeah, I’m working out how to involve peanut butter pie, too.