There's a Wiccan in the Midst
They call it "coming out of the broom closet."
I told my church in a small group that I had begun exploring Wicca...and it didn't go so badly. I feel so lucky, to be a part of church where people are willing to reach outside of their own comfort zone and try to understand someone else's experience.
"Experience," I think, is the key word there. I think that, because I am someone they know and care about, and because I was able to talk about what I felt I'd gained from my exploration, they were able to see where there is a bridge between the two faiths. To me, it is perfectly obvious that all faiths have a bridge, but no matter how progressive people of various faiths claim to be, you can very easily see where automatic lines are drawn out of habit, and biases revealed.
I think it is only love and genuine empathy that enables people to look past their biases, and, more importantly, their fear. Fear plays a very big part in the insistence of many Christians on drawing lines in the sands. Without it, naturally compassionate people, of which many of us Christians are, would not treat many other people with the estrangement that we do.
Anyway, what I tried to convey as I explained my journeying (the small group is about spiritual practices that deepen relationships with God) I talked about how building a personal altar and filling it with things that connected me to love and joy, things to which I had certain memories and reminders attached, had made me see myself and my space differently. Whereas all my life, I have longed for more of a transcendent experience in my daily spirituality, but never seemed quite able to make time for it, I now found myself seeing the sacred in all things around me, all things in which I took joy. Now, so many things in my life and work and living space were reminders that made me stop and reflect.
The pastor pointed out that I was connecting with "love," and by doing so, connecting with God. This, of course, is not news to me, but I could see her need to make a connection to what she felt was a Christian spiritual experience, and I was glad she could make that bridge. I did, however, think it a bit ironic, as I often have, that as many forms of Christianity try to reincorporate many spiritual practices that they've lost over the years, they seem to miss the fact that other religions have had those practices for thousands of years (meditation, walking a labyrinth, etc.) and somehow, perhaps without realizing it, try to brand those practices as uniquely Christian.
Well, we've got to start somewhere. Being able to tell my church family, however, felt really good. I felt loved, accepted, and most importantly, significant...as if I'd done the right thing and it was something that would benefit more than just me. I wish I could tell my family; it might be that I would be just as surprised by them, but I'm not sure about that yet.