The church decided, long ago, that the baby was not pure. That adults called “godparents” would stand proxy for the baby in order for her not to be condemned to hell. You can make the language as pretty as you like, this was the logic.
Then the church decided the child should be schooled in the faith. That there was information she needed to learn. First, in cute stories with animals in them; later, with instruction wrapped around threats.
As she reached puberty, the girl was gifted the responsibility for original sin. Initiated into the community. And led in words that promised her subservience, her ongoing repentance, her fidelity. In exchange for her salvation. And the relief was such that she knew peace, joy, freedom and love.
The young woman repeated these words. Worked hard at her studies. Yearned for peace, joy, freedom and love. Stood, knelt, held hands aloft, bowed her head. And in the silence, asked the questions no one wanted to hear, much less answer.
Rejected and denied, she headed out into the world, questing for knowledge. And found more learning. So she learnt. She learnt until the wall could hardly hold the weight of the framed certificates. But the questions never went away.
The woman buried her disappointment in service. The aching desire to help others masking her certainty that she herself could not be helped. Eventually the questions demanded that they be faced.
In facing the questions, learning burnt away. Leaving knowing. Not knowing ‘of’. Naked knowing. A knowing that held the baby without proxies making promises. A knowing that held the child without instruction. A knowing that held the girl without the need for constant repentance. A knowing that held the young woman in her quest for herself. A knowing that held the woman facing the brick wall of disappointment.
This knowing was peace, joy, freedom and love. Without the need for relief. Without the need of proxies, instruction, repentance, learning or service.
This knowing was God, transcendent. This knowing was her own essential self.