I walk through my mentally composed streets of Golgata, heaving my cross across my back, whipped and lashed from the Roman soldiers birthed from my doubts and insecurities. The weight of my cross is burdened with guilt and shame, it anchors my body from escaping my crowd of dark thoughts, and unstable psyche. I was once the cherished and prodigal son, waving my faith high, but am now condemned to hang from the ornament I once hung from my neck. Nails of self contempt and confusion are hammered into my palms. I hang in agony, embracing my crimes, for my punishment is applicable. I have forsaken thy heart, thou soul, I have forsaken my beliefs for I thought God was dead.
Weeks before my cerebral crucifixion, I, the wolf of disbelief hid among the sheep of faith believing I was one of them in their pasture of holiness and devoutness we call church. I adored and believed their tales of miracle men, great disasters, and family drama, but my faith could only endure for so long in the false proclamation of love, we know as Christianity. God is love we cheered, God is merciful we cheered, God is forgiving we cheered. No one chanted these mantras louder than I, the champion of the sheep.
But it was my fellow sheep who turned my benign appetite of scripture rich grass into a craving for meat soaked in doubt and uncertainty, birthing my wolf pallet. These same sheep who told me God is love, do not dare whisper but rather preach to me that God loves no homos, God closes his gates to those who disbelieve, and damn those to fire who dare go against him. This was not the God I knew.
Torn and riddled with my my lack of clarity, the flames of my faith started to flicker. The waxes of my doubt started to drown my fire until the ember was as dim as the light left in my eyes. If I was lied to about who God was, perhaps I was lied to about his very existence. The fire was seemingly extinguished, invisible to the human eye. A seventeen year old candle of faith was swallowed in a darkness of anguish and uncertainty.
I hang from this cognitive constructed cross, attoning for my sins. I dare not believe, and for that I am tortured by the guilt of my decisions. The guilt of betraying everything I vowed to protect. I, who only needed a mustard seed of faith has allowed that seed to slip through my grasp, falling through my fingers into the dark. I want to believe but cannot find the will. I see him, the roman soldier fabricated from my tortured subconscious. It stabs me with a sharp blade in my side, leaving an open wound that will reveal my inner character. I anticipate that thick heathenous blood will spew out of my flesh, staining the ground with my heresy. But to my disbelief clear and pure water flows from body, and drenches the soil with my faithfulness.
My flame has not extinguished but was only dim. After suffering from my own hands, and putting myself through these torturous tribulations I realize my faith in God wavered indeed, but it was truly religion that held my contempt. This man made system that enforced too many man made rules, voices and ideas that overshadows God’s true intentions. No more will I be the blind sheep, nor the stray wolf, or the even the sacrificial lamb of my creation. I, the once forsaken walk the streets of Golgota a free man, vowing never to return to that grassy pasture.
Barrington Brissett: "I am an African American male born raised and Brooklyn. I come from Jamaican household, and hail from a working class broken family. My childhood wasn't as pleasant as I would have liked it to be, as my parents, divorced at the age of eleven, used to live pay check to pay check just to provide for my siblings and myself. I often used my writing as an escape from my undesired reality and even as a tool to vent. I write out of pain but and love, I write because it's my saving grace."