The Little Red Book. I was young when I got it, no more than ten years of age. The little red book was given to me, but I do not remember from who. I think it was a “gift” handed out out a church wedding. Within the little red book were verses pulled from scripture, all out of context and arranged in a flow that talked of sin, God’s anger and wrath at us for our sin with damnation assured to be followed by hell unless we got in on the “safe side” of God by accepting His divine “Get Out of Jail – Free” card through Jesus. Jesus who died to take our deserved place because God was royally ticked and someone had to pay and to appease.
My friend Jesus! Thank you! But this free pass was only good for one shot; you had to “keep on the sunny-side” by doing good, following the rules and supporting the program that the experts said was very important. After all, you had to keep on the stern but “good” side of this God who saw all and watched from above. At the end of the little red book was the “sinner’s prayer” and a place to sign your name, indicating that you had accepted Jesus Christ ( the free “Get Out of Jail” card). God must indeed be very powerful to read that scribbled signature in that tiny little red book from so far away.
I felt better. I felt safe. No one wants to burn so I signed the pledge. Being the typical young child, I eventually set the book aside and went and played and did my homework and tried to do what my parents and teacher asked. I wasn’t a bad kid. Oh sometimes I did stupid and selfish things like everyone does in their life. But all I wanted to do was play, have fun and be loved and accepted.
After some time had passed I found the little red book again admist the clutter of toys, books and other things a young boy collects. I would read that little red book again and become fearful that I had “lost my salvation” and that God was pissed at me again because I ad forgot about the rules and the program. I was sure that there was a very hot place awaiting for me as my “Final Destination”. After all, that’s what the Rules said, that’s what the Program ( and those who ran the Program) said. That’s what the Little Red Book said. So I would pray and repent and promise. I would go through a performance on inner spiritual gymnastics until the Religious Taskmasters of Guilt, Shame and Fear were appeased. I would be fine and do fine. I was “safe”. All at the tender age of ten.
And that Little Red Book?
It has haunted me, tormented ever since. Again and again.
Quite the burden for a ten year old, eh? Or for anyone at any age really. “Salvation” born of Guilt, Shame and Fear is not salvation. It is a cruel taskmaster that terrorizes.
Love is the true catalyst of transformation. Love is the alchemy of salvation. Love is the Light that heals and guides. Love is the only Way that can bring us out of the darkness of Guilt/Shame/Fear into the Light. Love in the heart, in the core of who we are is the way. That is where we must be led from. Not the ego-mind. The heart filled with Divine Love instructs the mind. Not a little red book of dried ink on paper with no light or love.
Oh Divine Source, fill me with Love, Light, Grace and Truth. Yeshua, let me be informed and formed by Love. May Love be my Guide, Friend and Companion. Take from me that little red book and give me relationship.
“I want to know what Love is, I want You to show me. I want to feel what Love is, I know You can show me.”