Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

Religious Symbolism


About eight yeas ago my sister got me the one thing I asked for for Christmas.  It was a creche. It was the first one I’d ever had even though I’d been a Christian for a very long time.  She and my entire family knew how much that meant to me.  I dutifully put it out every year.  Until I de-converted.  Since then I haven’t even gotten it out of the box.  Not one person has even asked me about it. 

I also had a Christmas tree filled with crosses.  Because for me they so intertwined, Christmas and Easter.  One was no good without the other.  I haven’t used those since then either.  Unceremoniously.  I just don’t put them out.  In fact, I sold them in a garage sale just a month ago.  Not the creche.  I’m not ready yet.  I was actually thinking about taking out of the box.  I’ve finally gotten to a place where I can possibly embrace the mythicism.  Possibly.  It’s December 7th and I haven’t opened the box.

The reason I haven’t put it out nor used the crosses has little to do with anything triggering.  It was at first.  But not now.  It’s more that it doesn’t hold the same meaning now.  Before when I saw a cross, or a Baby Jesus – so lowly in his manger, or angels I was filled with awe and wonder and delight.  And love. 

I felt love.

I felt loved.

Now these religious symbols are just pieces of ceramic, and wood, and glass.  Personally meaningless except to remind me of a past that makes me feel a little like a crazy person; that I manufactured all of those feelings within myself.  All the times I thought that a loving god sent a redeemer.  A redeemer for what?  Because I’m flawed?  I am.  And it’s okay.


6 thoughts on “Religious Symbolism

  1. Ours is still packed away. It’s been 9 years packed away. Sign me up on that crazy person list.


    • I’m having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit this year. Bah humbug! It may be something to do with this 80 degree weather we’ve been having. At least it’s not ice and snow, though.

      I guess I’m in good company then; being a little on the crazy side.


  2. We’re all flawed. 🙂

    Now these religious symbols are just pieces of ceramic, and wood, and glass.
    Ironically, this reminds me of the OT passages where God is mocking the Israelites for reverencing idols made of wood and metal, which can’t actually do anything…

    Merry Christmas to you both!


    • Oh, the irony, eh? Though I will say I never thought of myself as worshiping these images made of wood, and glass, and ceramic. They just seemed like an outward symbol of what was in my heart, sort of like a Baptism. But we all know how that worked out for me, too. 😉

      Merry Christmas to you and your family as well!


  3. There was a long lasting bitterness with my deconversion from fundamentalist Christianity that took me many years to work my way through. However, it was only when I allowed myself to embrace symbolism and mythology that I got over that. I have to say that I love the non-religious Christmas symbols as well, and very much love the pagan symbols of the Yule season. Just as one’s tastes in food or music, I don’t think there is “one way” to relate to our place in the cosmos and grand scheme of things.


    • “Just as one’s tastes in food or music, I don’t think there is “one way” to relate to our place in the cosmos and grand scheme of things.”

      Well said. And it’s such a relief to get to that place where you know that.


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