Easter for Those of Us Who Left Church

We left. We left death and pain. We left behind our Sunday best. We left behind childish beliefs for adult-sized questions. We left. But now it’s Easter Sunday. What is Easter for those of us who left church?

The prayers and Bible verses we had memorized without context and question were the secret handshakes and slogans of belonging. The passing of the peace meant peace only there, in that moment, in that space because war continues to wage outside.

We were told to take the seat of the hero, the savior, the all-knowing, the judge and jury, and for a while we took the seat until we started asking questions about the limits of God’s love, about pronouns for God who was not human, about passing the peace inside and why we couldn’t cry for it outside.

Some of us left for good, but some of us, myself included, stayed near. We didn’t leave and hide like the male disciples did after Jesus was crucified; we stayed near like the women at the cross, bearing witness to the abuse, the cover-ups, the lies, the deception, the limited love. Some of us grieved out loud and shook our fists at the pews and doors that were supposed to be an invitation but turned out to be the boundaries. Some of us grieved quietly holding close what was left and wondering what was to come of our loss. We all grieved. Some of us are still grieving. But what do we do with that grief on Easter, we who left church?

It’s years into my grief, and I’m still reluctant to go back inside the buildings I left. But I still think about Jesus. This Easter I thought about Jesus. I thought about Jesus with his scars leaving the tomb, a place and symbol of death and rot.

Easter for those of us who left the church is a reminder that we have done the same. We left the death and rot. Our grief will not have a hold on us forever, and we will find life and hope again. All because we left.

1 Comment

  1. Helena Lee March 31, 2024

    Love this. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *