I was too shy to sing hymns. Some of the words I still remember. Some of the melodies drift back to me in odd moment. I remember the texture of the pages between my fingers.
When Grandmother visisted, she'd chide me Why don't you sing?
I did sing for the doxology. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
And I recited faithfully. I believe in God the father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ our own son our lord...and so on and so forth.
But I never quite wrapped my arms around the Trinity. In Sunday schools and Sermons, we never discussed how it was possible that Jesus Christ who had died for us was manifest in three forms: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
I did not doubt them. I just did not understand.
I attended every service during Holy Week. Mom and Dad and one of my sisters would be at the Palm Sunday service.
But I decided to attend Maundy Thursday. I took the grape juice and wafers gratefully. The regular attendees probably noticed I was the only ten year old there. The next day, Mom dropped me off for Good Friday. I tried to weep. I found I could not cry. Why cry for a concept? I did not see anyone before me bleeding?
It all changed somehow when I was thirteen. I began to question everything. It all became useless. How could God really exist? What came before God? Was this all just a big joke?
I was a teenager now. I thought I knew everything. The world became full of questions I thought I could answer. But unlike my rebellious sister, I clung to my parents. They sheltered me. I told them everything.
I believed in my parents but I did not believe in God anymore, much less anything. I wanted to believe in inherent Goodness of all humanity but I was too withdrawn. What could be good about God? What could be good about anything, much less myself? I stared at my shoe tops. I had always been shy and I had intimate discussions with the minister. He tried to assuage my fears.
I had long discovered girls, but they began to discover me. And I doubted myself. I had no confidence. They seemed to me to be big riddles, unsolvable things. I knew I wanted love.
I was ahead of my time. But I was morbidly shy, hideously introverted.
Calvinism was next. And I was no firm believer.