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Advent

They say that Jesus was born today. What do I know about Jesus? I used to go to church when I was a child. My mother made me. She wasn’t religious, neither was my father. But we belonged to the Catholic Church around the corner, and I was forced into Sunday school through my youth. I didn’t like it. Because I thought that Jesus wasn’t going to like me if we ever met. I thought that he could hear all the mean things I thought about other people, even if I never said them out loud. I believed for a good while that all thoughts were prayer. So I didn’t like church. It wasn’t as if I was thinking really bad things about anyone. I was only around seven. I didn’t know much about bad things. It was mostly silly things, like I’d see a fat lady and my mind would say “she’s fat,” and I’d get very angry at myself for thinking something rude like that where God can hear. I grew convinced that my mind was made for manufacturing sin. I cried because I didn’t want to be in the Christmas pageant, but got jealous when another girl got to play Mary. But jealousy was a sin, so I cried even more. If I can, I avoid that church as much as I can. I don’t like it there. I’m not even sure they really care about God. If they could make me care about God without forcing it down my throat with sign-in sheets and bribery, maybe I’d pray once in a while. But the church has convinced me that God isn’t as merciful as they tell me he is. And when I think these things, make these accusations about the integrity of the Almighty, I freeze up. For my thought is prayer, and I have taken the Lord’s name in vain.

Advent

They say that Jesus was born today. What do I know about Jesus? I used to go to church when I was a child. My mother made me. She wasn’t...