Purity

Walter Mwasi Williams III
8 min readFeb 20, 2020
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I was once religious. I felt a genuine love for the Word, the Gospel, and even considered becoming a pastor during my early years. I imagined having a small church that would serve as the heart and soul of a community.

That all feels like a lifetime ago.

With age there came questions. Questions that rarely ever received satisfactory answers. At first faith was the successful stopgap. I was told, and sometimes chastised, that if I had enough faith then such explanations were not necessary. So, faith bridged the gap between my misgivings and religion.

However, it was only a temporary solution to an ongoing crisis. A combination of time, the increasing lack of answers, and number of events, all steadily widen the gap until it became a yawning chasm that my faith struggled to bridge, then ultimately collapsed into.

Losing something that has guided you through the world, your entire life, is painful, confusing, and scary. This is especially difficult when your love for religion dies by degrees. That is how I eventually lost mine. It occurred through a sequence of events, that were they to had happened individually and alone, would not had been enough to make me question my beliefs.

One of the most memorable happened during Friday’s Bible Study. I was 17 and it was something I looked forward to every week.

It was customary for our church to occasionally offer young pastors the opportunity to speak to the congregation, as both a means of encouragement, and a way to further hone their skills while still learning.

On this Friday, a youth pastor was slotted as a guest speaker. He was a 20ish, blond, tall, clean shaven young man in a tie and suit. Communicative, friendly, quick to smile, and witty, he easily won over many of the teens attending that evening. I genuinely enjoyed listening to him speak. I imagined, if I did choose to be a pastor, I would want to be as witty and personable. I wanted to speak with him after services.

After a short sermon the boys and girls were separated. The girls went off with a married couple, who was visiting and near the end of their ministry studies. Us boys went off with the Youth Pastor because he wanted to “be real with just the fellas”. His words. Not mine.

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