Oh Black Water

July 26, 2010

As mentioned in my last blog, I took a weeklong hiatus from Thumpme to visit various people and places in Colorado. As expected, it was the mountains —not Bible study — that encouraged me to examine the possibility of something greater than myself. Because I wasn’t in a church and haven’t “accepted” God, I’m pretty sure my nature-based spirituality doesn’t count in the book of organized religion.

True to this project, I did attempt to experience religion as defined by the Bible. While tooling around my hometown I tried to give confession at St. Joseph’s church, an edifice I’ve always admired but never entered — or so I thought.

When my best friend and I walked into St. Joe’s, she reminded me that we’d fist visited St. Joe’s when we were seven. It was our first solo trip to Old Town Ft. Collins, an independent milestone I’d been seeking for months. Our only instructions: Don’t talk to strangers; look both ways when crossing; get home by dinner.

Our parents didn’t say a word about throwing a handful of black raspberry candy into the holy water at St. Joe’s. I thought it was simply hysterical when the water turned black, but my friend was mortified and dragged me out of the church.

Twenty-one years later I decided to confess, but when I approached St. Joe’s confessional I was met with a sign that said: “Confessional Hours 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.” I couldn’t stick around for varying reasons (namely Sunshine, Ranger and Skinny Dip) nor could I attend the Sunday service (again, Sunshine, Ranger and Skinny Dip), but today I called the church asking for some sort of guidance regarding my impulse. Explaining my quest to the church secretary was a bit difficult. She was polite, but after my explanation she said, “You want to turn the holy water black?”

“No, I already did that. I would like to talk to someone about the implications of turning holy water black. Is that a sin and can I be forgiven?”

My call was not returned. A little Internet research suggests individuals have been using holy water for black satanic rituals. I can assure you that’s not what I intended with my black water however, I doubt I’ll be “forgiven” for this tiny infraction. Unlike God’s revered David, I am not cruel, have not disregarded half of the 10 Commandments (I’ve only hit four), murdered anyone or, most importantly, accepted God as my savior.

Like David I had a little brain fart regarding my indiscretion, but God likes David because David likes God so it’s OK for him sweep it under the rug.

After God forgives David, David sings a little ditty completely void of his blunders. He says:

“The Lord rewards me because I do what is right; he blesses me because I am innocent.

I have obeyed the law of the Lord; I have not turned away from my God.

I have observed all his laws; I have not disobeyed his commands.

He knows that I am faultless, that I have kept myself from doing wrong.

And so he rewards me because I do what is right, because he knows I am innocent.”

It seems that sins are insignificant as long as the sinner has accepted God and confessed in a church. If I had accepted God and waited until 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. to confess my 21-year-old sin rather than drinking and hiking in the mountains, would my black berries go unnoticed?

I know “accepting God” takes more than 15 minutes, but I can’t understand these general principles. Please explain this to me.

Stopping Point: The First Book of Kings

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