I Found Jesus In The Bronx

So I always identified as a Christian. I would go to Saint Anthony’s Baptist Church on Empire Blvd on Sundays with a family friend in my little church outfits and she’d play records of the Bible stories.

As I got older and started to read more I started to question a lot of things. I’m a logical person so I need things explained so that they make sense, and some of the Bible stories just wouldn’t add up to me. Like I got that it’s about faith and believing but I just couldn’t wrap my head around the story of the ark, or the lions den, how there were different versions of the Bible, and who passed down these stories. With that I began to question more.

Photo credit: Google Images

Photo credit: Google Images

As I moved along on my educational career and I learned about the foundations of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam and I noticed the similarities I was perplexed by the striking similarities within each religion; the belief of a higher being and laws to abide by for access to a happy eternal life.
One thing that stuck out to me that concerned me was the fact that the Qur’an and Torah have been the same since the beginning of time but the Bible has different versions which leaves room for many different interpretations, in addition to all of the different denominations made me wonder, how can we all be on the same page ?

On top of that I thought to myself if we’re not supposed to judge people as Christians, why and how is it that I’ve never seen anyone on the train obnoxiously reciting the Torah or Qur’an but Christians come on the train all the time distastefully reciting scriptures and telling people basically if you don’t believe you’re going to hell. That was and still is so off-putting.

I found myself in a place where I believed in a higher being but I didn’t necessary take the time to read the Bible or go to the church. I considered myself
Spiritual. It wasn’t until a surprise birthday and a conversation with co-worker that changed my perspective.

I went to surprise party for a friend (in the Bronx and during Scorpio season) and I saw the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Her pastor came to her house and we all prayed for her. That is the most pure form of love you can give, to pray for the well being and basically thank God for having this person in your life and them living to see another day. The pastor then proceeded to pray and read scriptures which she pulled up on her phone on an app.

After an extensive conversation of my concerns and qualms in regards to religion and Christianity, I asked her, what am I supposed to get out of the Bible ? I don’t know where to start, sometimes I don’t completely understand it and I feel for the society we live in now some of the “don’ts” may not be applicable (I’ve been told about n o piercings, not cutting your hair, things like that) so how does one live like a Christian ?

She changed my life forever when she responded,

“You’re supposed to love God and love others. Remembering that will help to guide your actions in your everyday life.”

A few weeks later I downloaded the Bible app and felt more purpose and understanding and reading it and there was even a “American Contemporary Version” which puts everything in simpler terms. There are still things I have questions about but I was appreciative in knowing that my co-worker listened to my feelings in a non-judgmental way and inspired me with out being aggressive or forceful about the religion she loves so much.

It made sense to me. Things that we do are supposed to reflect our love for God and loving others, Gods creations, is in turn loving him.

Yasmine PaytonComment