Despite Catholic school with all it's positive and supporting teachers, science class after religion class was confusing. My brain was trying to wrap its gray cells around the idea of Adam and Eve. The day before in Biology class, with the smell of formaldehyde in the air, our class got up to get our fetal pig we named. My thoughts were my own as my curiosity peaked on seeing the brain of this once cute creature. That led me to think of other lectures the teacher gave. Dinosaurs, apes, and without overtly saying it evolution. The dirty word of Catholic school. Teachers had to teach what they were told to. Science being one of them. When questions arose about evolution the conversation some how led to the bell ringing or was gently covered over with another question or just ignored.
Back to my pig, absence of nausea, we were warned of the organs not to puncture. When the time comes to dissect, detaching worked well. That medically smelling piggy in front of me wasn't a real pig. It was as real as real gets but my mind wouldn't allow that fact. While examining the brain my brain was pushing thoughts of this pigs short life away. While my brain was trying to squeeze the facts into tiny balls then burst them into ash, my hands were doing what the teacher told me to do. Prodding around the brain wasn't required but my cat like curiosity took over my hands. His little brain was beautiful, pink not gray and stringy. When it was time to put our pigs back in their preserving soup my brain came back from its trip.
As a little girl Heaven was in the sky, then I saw photos of outer space. Where did Heaven go? Is school tricking me? Looking at some amazing photos of outer space my mouth didn't hesitate in saying, "I don't see Heaven". "Where is God"? "Where are all the people I love wandering around on clouds all happy and healthy"? It was very confusing and there wasn't a teacher in the school who would give me a straight answer. Not until high school did the most honest answer come out of the mouth of one teacher. He said, "You know I can't comment on that, we are in a Catholic school". It left me feeling heard even though it lacked answers, or even a conversation. This is when figuring it out would be left for my interpretation.
In The Middle
College was the beginning, no Theology classes. Twelve years of religion and confusion was what was left .The progression went like this. Between 6-8 years of age: Fear of God, Fear of Hell, and Fear of Nuns and Priests, the mean ones. Between 8-18 years of age: Fear Of Disappointing The Almighty God In Heaven. A Heaven that had no actual place,yet. Then a new idea emerged, if there is a God, some forgiveness is due to all the teachers who tired to tell a little girl a very complex idea. Some story telling needed to be done. Fearing God was gone at this point and my belief was God loved everyone and everything.
This idea came to me after years of contemplating, from as far back as five years old,as small as a child who fits in the front of a shopping cart. If God created me then He knows me. My prayers learned as a child were still being said after all those years but the feeling was different. My prayers were based on faith with a respect and curiosity for science. Both equally valid in their respected areas. Regardless of all the contemplating, one thing that always remained that was never taught in school it was a feeling in my heart. A connection to something greater than myself was felt throughout my whole being ever since thoughts entered my brain.Reasons for having this feeling at a young age weren't as clear to me then as they are now however the feeling always stayed the same.
Caught in the middle of Science and Religion. Science is very fascinating and at times can make you doubt your faith. Religion is fascinating as well. There are so many in the world, can't imagine one is better than another. With this endless tug of war with the theories of Science and what was learned in Theology class, my mind was made up. We would be naive to think we are the only creatures in the entire universe. Not saying their setting up camp in my backyard, however, there are so many ideas,facts and realities about this great and wonderful universe. The reason it is difficult to find the answers to all our questions are, we are not ready to know them all.
Practicing any religion on a regular basis is not my strong point but the feeling in my heart knows there is more in the world. More knowledge, more than what we hear, see,smell, taste and touch. We will learn what we need to when we are ready. That could be something we learn on Earth or something we are meant to learn when we die. We don't know for certain in Science or Religion what the absolute truth is and I'll pass on the answers to those questions. My heart likes this feeling. My heart feels full, throbbing and content. Heart pounding as if in love but not with a person. In love with the world the universe and admiration for how simple or complex it took to create. Gratitude for having the chance to witness life, with all it's good times and bad times.
Love and Heaven
My last trip on an airplane, traveling with my Fiance, we watched the sunrise. We were sandwiched in between a sea of clouds. Some so thick you would think the plane would bounce off of them. The sun broke through the layers in a most heavenly scene. I spent a lot of time looking to the sky to see Heaven. In the clouds, on the plane, I saw an amazing sight, then I had an idea. Almost forgetting my camera was in my carry on I soon started taking pictures. In awe seeing the earth emerge from whitish gray clouds and pinkish orange splashes of light, I saw Heaven. It was in the sky, it was my Fiance sitting next to me, the land coming up beneath the plane. Heaven was everywhere and it was the feeling in my heart and that was the answer to my question.
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