Nothing by Angie Jay

angie jay

Nothing

I used to talk to nothing
Not knowing it was nothing.
I was told it was love.
Sacrificial love. Unconditional love.
Life-changing, whole-making love.

But it turns out, it was nothing.

The silence of the nothing broke me.
Upended me. Toppled everything over, onto me.
Crushed under the weight of what was gone.
Devastated that it never existed.
Barely breathing.
Arms clutched to my chest.
Holding the emptiness where beliefs once dwelled.
Beliefs once tightly held
Wrenched from my fingers
When I screamed out desperately into the abyss and in return
Nothing came.

Not the love that was promised.
Nor wholeness.
My brokenness remained.
Unchanged.
No savior to heal the wounds
Un-rescued, abandoned
Utterly alone in random chaos.

The silence of nothing echoes so loudly.

But

Listen closely to the silence.

“You are depraved!” is missing, too.
Worthy-of-eternal-torment-for-being-born no longer the mantra
Berating me over and over
And over.
Not even a murmur declaring me
Evil, sinful, wicked, debased, weak, less-than.
Every condemnation for merely being human is muted.
Beautifully quieted.

The crushing weight of silence almost feels like wings now.

In every empty place
There is now space
To love, to forgive, to change
Myself.

In place of the nothing there is me
And always was.
I could have flown sooner if only I had known.
The thing holding me back
Keeping me down
Damning my soul
was actually . . .
Nothing.

— Angie Jay, Twitter, August 29, 2019

Follow Angie on Twitter and check out her Devoutly Human Facebook page.

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10 Comments

  1. TLC

    Saw this on Twitter. This is SO beautiful.

    Reply
  2. Robert Felton

    Well done. There is only degradation at the heart of Christian thought, and I applaud you for seeing that and rejecting it.

    Reply
  3. Brunetto Latini

    Nice.

    I disagree that there is only degradation at the heart of Christian thought. Christian thought is largely responsible for what I am today, regardless that I’m an unbeliever now.

    Reply
  4. Bob Felton

    Christianity relies on Original Sin as its raison d’ê·tre, the claim that you are innately and irremediably worthless and no damn good and need salvation. Without that, it has nothing on offer, no reason to exist.

    There is not a single thing in Christian ethical thought that you can’t find elsewhere — except Original Sin. Confucius discussed and rejected ‘turn the other cheek, for example, 300-years before Jesus was born. Whether Confucius is right, or Jesus is right, is beside the point; the point is that it’s not original with Christianity.

    Again, so far as I know, Original Sin is the only ethical teaching that is original with Christianity, and it’s degrading nonsense.

    Reply
  5. Brunetto Latini

    Whether Confucius taught it or Buddha taught it before is irrelevant. The vehicle whereby I — and most Westerners — received ethical teaching is Christianity. So in spite of the fact that I don’t believe the supernaturalism and that I spent much of my life struggling against my sexuality because of teachings I accepted, it still served an important purpose in giving me a sense of right and wrong. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it is nothing but degradation.

    Besides that, you might as well throw out Western art and literature if you think Christianity is totally bad.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Whatever might be derived from Christianity, the fact remains that Christianity is built upon a foundation of human depravity; that humans are, by nature, from birth, morally and ethically defective; that humans are broken, and in need of repair; that humans are inherently evil, wicked, and vile — from the moment of conception.

      Reply
  6. Matt feeney

    Bruce you nailed it.

    Reply
  7. ObstacleChick

    This is a lovely poem.

    I understand, Brunetto, what you are saying about being shaped by christianity and learning morals and ethics from it. However, I had to unlearn some of the “morals and ethics” it taught me too, like judging people, considering LBGTQ people to be lesser, perverted, sinners, when they are just people. Like judging sexual behavior that is outside married heterosexual sex and considering unplanned pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, even sexual assault as punishment for sexual behavior. I wish I had learned ethics and morality from humanism instead.

    Reply
  8. Infidel753

    Magnificently eloquent. Religion is an empty lie, both its supposed good and its evil.

    Reply
  9. John Roberts

    Thank you for sharing this moving poem.

    Reply

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