by The Acolyte/Blaise Bienvenue
The trajectory of my religious and spiritual life: I was raised a Christian, then strayed from the church.
“The Wounded Church” means me.
Or maybe it means who all of us were back in high school for one brief moment, or who I thought people were, or what I thought it all meant.
Now it is wounded because we have moved on, sold out, lived hard, seen too much, you know…
All that pretentious, cop-out bullshit.
Now we are wounded.
The church is wounded.
Or maybe the church means something else, entirely, whatever the church was in the days immediately following its birth, or even in the days preceding it, the church of whatever you choose to believe in before it became what it is now:
Before it ceased to mean a place for the soul to be healed or to pour out unbridled or to be replenished or to rest or to be reminded what it was when it was pure.
Before it ceased to mean love, or Christian charity, or generosity, or good will among humans, or even before it ceased to mean sacrificing virgins or one-armed babies to a deity who actually talked to you out loud, in person, in something like the flesh, as a burning bush, as a goat-headed giant, as a serpent the size of a great stone temple.
Before it ceased to mean all the stuff inside us that is down so deep, we may not know it’s there, the stuff that got buried, the stuff too primal (in whatever way you may choose to define “primal”) for the life we lead.
Before it ceased to embody our connection to something primordial.
Then it got wounded.
It became a place for us to go hide in, to lean on, to excuse us for everything we do. It became a place for us to go pay someone to tell us what we wish were right but what we know is not right because it makes life easy and comfortable and safe. We would rather pay to be told these lies than face the hard truths, than venture forth and pay the price of knowing and living these pure, hard truths.
That price is not money.
That price may mean bare feet and rocks for a pillow, life lived on hard roads, life lived in cages. That price may mean knowing you live in a cage, though life would be the same regardless of whether you knew.
The true church wants to know.
The true church won’t take money to lie to its adherents or to hide them from anything they carry deep down in the part of them passed on by ancestors living in caves or volcanoes or the centers of supernovas, to hide them from things that can be traced back to the ooze, to something that glows and that does not die but that hides and gets buried the more we deny it.
That shit is wounded.
Knowing we carry it deep down inside us as time races on, we can tell its tales.
“Tales From The Wounded Church” will contain book and film reviews, ruminations, dream stories, and probably bad jokes.
– The Acolyte