Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Heart & Soul of the Matter...

So one of the few times religious aspects entered the yard sale family atmosphere was when my sister presented us with the letter (and subsequent pictures) of my nephew through her semi-open adoption. Occasionally she receives these up-dates, and every once and a while she shares them with the family as a whole, which we always are very happy to share with her.


He can play the piano by ear (a trait that apparently skips generations, as my great-great grandfather had this knack, but no one I know of since then), is a very compassionate and caring brother to his other adopted siblings, and has asked Jesus into his heart....

(Enter sound of screeching car tires)

Don't get me wrong. I knew my sister picked a Christian family for her son when she gave him up for adoption. In fact, it was kind of a given that she would when she finally set her mind on giving him to another family. Of course, we all supported her decision as she was young, still in school, and scared she wouldn't be able to provide him or herself with a quality life. Of course, there's a lot more luggage in that suitcase, but that's all I'll share from that perspective for now...


Back to the letter. Jesus. Heart. All that.

My mother bursts into tears reading this part. She taps her chest with her free hand and says, "Isn't that wonderful? He is saved! I'll see my grandson in heaven!"

My father nods sagely, and says, "Good news."

Tom (my Christian [but not Christian-eese] brother) shakes his head and says something along the lines of "Huh?"

I shake my head and look to the ground. I am upset that my nephew has been placed willingly into a cult-ish family, but then I figure, I was dropped unasked into one as well, and most of my siblings turned out all right.... so there's hope.

Dad looks at Tom. "Sam (that's what we call him, as that is the name my sister gave him before he was handed over to his adoptive parents) accepting Christ as his lord is the most important decision he will ever make."

My mother taps her chest again, nodding sagely through the tears.

I can tell Tom wishes to pursue this line of thinking, but we all realize this is making my sister uncomfortable, so the conversation drifts to the safer topics of the letter: the piano, his writing skills, how much he looks like his birth father...


I remember when I first asked Jesus into my heart. I was four, and we were sitting around the dinner table. I was afraid of hell. I had just learned about it in school that day (we went to a private brain-washing facility that my parents gave thousands of dollars to every year to make sure we stayed that way), and I wanted to know how I asked Jesus into my heart so I wouldn't go there. So my father lead me in a prayer, saying I was sorry for my sins (and, in hindsight, how silly! How much could I have possibly sinned at four freakin' years old! [I know, I know, enter "a sin is a sin is a sin," "quality not quantity," "you were born into sin," and "once a sinner, always a sinner" crapola]) and that Jesus was aloud to come in and wash away my sins. Afterwards there was my father, smiling from ear to ear, and a lecture to my younger siblings (for I think Tom had already asked Jesus to move in earlier that year) about how important it was what I just did, and did any of them want to ask Jesus into their hearts? (Of course, they were 2, 1, and 3 months respectively.)

This was the first of six zillion times I would ask Jesus to move in, afraid that maybe the first time didn't take, afraid that every time I did something that could be construed as a "sin" that it was proof that maybe I hadn't been sorry enough, that I hadn't believed enough, that maybe Jesus didn't love me enough, or maybe I didn't love him enough....

Of course, then puberty hit, and I was really screwed...

Of course, Sam is only 9. He has years ahead of him. Years to hear about how he's a sinner. How he was born into sin. How he wants to do evil and needs god if he ever hopes to be good. And how (even though he doesn't know it yet), his birth uncle, from his adoptive family's point of view, will be in hell.

I think that's the part that pisses me off the most. My nephew, whom I held and knew for only 5 seconds on the day he was born, the day after Christmas in 199_, will be told I am evil.

What do I do with those feelings? My parents I can argue with. My brothers and sisters I can stand up to (if I so desire) and say what I believe, think, feel, and live by....

With Sam... I can only hope.

7 comments:

Kelly said...

How does this whole hell thing work? Anyone who has sinned? Or anyone who has not repented for their sins? If it's just sins that dictates who's there it would need a damn (no pun intended) no vacancy sign.

And I don't know how that whole Jesus-Heart thing works, but can you really make that decision at four years old? You should have asked He-Man or something. Less pressure.

Jason Hughes said...

Considering He-man was one of the masters of the universe... hmm....

You may have the makings of a great cult leader yet!

terriamachine said...

Can you please define christian-eese?

DaBich said...

How can one tell a child his uncle is evil? When his only "fault" is being a non-believer? You seem to be a great person, with heart. Now telling a child YOU are evil, THAT'S EVIL.

Jason Hughes said...

Tom:
Christian-eese: A person (or persons) for whom God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, or the Bible have no other value than to condemn and judge others but have no (visible) practical value in their own life (lives). Usually a hypocrite, but not always.

Dabich:
Thanks! You're a sweetheart yourself!

Jason Hughes said...

LOL darkmind!

You always have an interesting perspective!

I love it!

terriamachine said...

Thanks for the definition. I had a couple of points I wanted to make, and you can read them on my blog if you so desire. If you do, please know that I wrote it in spurts between classes, after school, before school, during finals, and during lunch. So if it's disjointed and hard to follow or understand, that's why. And I didn't do any editing, either, so I might've said things I didn't mean or didn't explain properly. But it is what it is.

By the way, I'm a Milton. Tolkien came in third place for me...