Dad and A Dime
Today is Father’s Day and my heart is filled with thoughts of a black Irish man with jet black hair and a red beard. I haven’t had dad here for over ten years. My dad used to save every dime he got in change and would put them into a rather large old wine bottle. When it was full he would cash it in to the tune of five hundred or so dollars.
Dimes in Unlikely Places
After he passed, I started finding dimes in the most unusual places. Places where you don’t find dimes. Oh, I know the psychology of focusing on something and then it appears to pop up everywhere. Yet, it was a great comfort to me at times when I really needed it.
A Dime When I Needed It
Once, on a very hard day, I stepped out of my car and there, between my feet, was a dime. Once, when my sister saw a psychic, the woman said dad would show us things like dimes, butterflies and birds to let us know he was there. Perhaps the dead in body still have some sway in the spiritual realm.
Stop on a Dime
We question whether this is possible, but if my heart is comforted when I see a beautifully marked butterfly waft into my backyard, is that okay with you? If I pause from working on the deck to smile at a dime I notice near me to say, “I miss you dad”. Or perhaps I may have a small conversation like, “Hey dad, I see you, watching out for me”.
A Dime Dismissed
I used to dismiss people who talked about knowing their loved ones were there. I thought perhaps people who needed comfort would find ways to get that need fulfilled. There was something else, my need to find everything in the pages of the bible. If it wasn’t there, I had a hard time believing in it. The bible was the object of my ignorant idolatry. The funny thing about humans is that they often have no room for something until it becomes their experience.
Open Heart to a Dime
My deconstruction opened my eyes and ears to a deeper consideration. I was no longer afraid to step outside my religious box. Now I could consider anything in this world without fear and weigh it against my own heart. That’s the funny thing about religion, it draws lines and calls you to color inside them. If you venture outside of those lines, it quickly turns into the old school marm snapping her stick on her desk and yelling at you because you strayed from the accepted program.
Color Outside the Lines
I find the preponderance of folk still bound by religion are obtuse to coloring outside the lines. They, as Jesus was recorded saying, “strain at a gnat and swallow a camel” while following their rules. When it comes to their own lives, they are full of grace and blindness. When they look at those they think color outside the lines, they are repugnant toward them. These drawn lines are so deeply etched as a part of their faith that they cannot escape, neither do they allow others to. The pharisees of old would talk of love and the greatness of God but never dine on anything God served outside of their paradigm.
You Grow Up
I have grown so much from my journey of faith. The lines in my life have not only faded, the book I took such care to color within it’s lines is no longer even a pastime. My life with God has broadened beyond the old ways. I am grateful for the greatness of God’s love toward me. The moments I have with my creator now have taken on a profoundness I will try to explain. Before, my relationship with God was something I did because my religion told me to. Make no mistake, I wanted to “serve” God and would have told you everything I did was voluntary. I was joyfully ignorant.
Everything I did back then was genuine. My heart was true even though I was my mind was tied up in religious restriction. During the end of that time, when I was considering new thoughts, I told a group of pastors in Africa that we did not have to go to church. I had met a man in town who worked on Sundays. The others in his social group had called him a heathen because he chose to feed his family over church attendance. Circumstances had released him from a religious mindset. Those who were still in church could not see what he did. He was free and coloring outside the lines. They were still bound within the confines of their biblical coloring book.
My worship now comes when it erupts from my life in a way that seems less contrived. I know that I am not acting on a “should” or a “supposed to”. My life’s expression is my own now, outside of organized religion, and its more free. My choice to still believe in a creator is not forced, but fluid. The definitions that I embrace are open and filled with wonder. I cannot miss something because it doesn’t fit with my squeezed perceptions. Life is serendipitous now and much better than it ever has been.
I was walking into the store today with my beloved wife. We were going to buy a Beta fish. She stopped and smiled as I turned back to see her face. She bent down and picked up a shiny dime. I was instantly reminded of what day it was. Tears stung as they escaped my eyes. I said, “Happy Father’s Day dad”. My life now allows for these serendipitous moments and they remind me that love is far greater than we understand.
Available publications by PK Langley
PK’s Fine Art Store where you can find many of the Frustrated Grace Prints.
PK writes short stories about life. They are in the form of ebooks for $1.37 each. Get them here.
Religious Deconstruction, The Frustrated Grace Series is now available, with over two hundred comic images on Amazon. You can get a preview of every single one here.
All Things Equal, is an exposition for women and how God
sees them from a very “biblical” point of view. It was what I needed in my first push toward deconstruction. If you are still in a church, and a woman, this is a great book to start. Get it here.
LangleyTown has a specific page for materials that will help you with your deconstruction. Find them here.
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