I'm back at my crazy temp job, saving up to do the good work I mean to do which pays not quite as well as temp work.
Why yes, yes, thank you for asking, I AM living the high life...
At work we had three crazy days of learning a new project and getting qualified to actually DO the work--days when you start with 50 people in a group and end with 15 because those are the only ones who make the qualification test.
Why yes, yes, thank you for asking, it is brutal.
Today when we came to work the groups had been shifted around in our work space because, of course, we're have much smaller groups now, and I was lucky enough to sit by one of the first people I met in this crazy job. She's a lovely woman and I just adore her. I'm so happy to share work space with her bright spirit and kick-ass attitude; super fun in our academic sweatshop.
Today I was looking at her computer screen and I admitted that I was doing something I probably shouldn't have been doing which I will not admit now because that would be wrong, wrong, wrong. She said something about how I was going to hell.
"I don't believe in hell."
OK, pause....when you work in religion you often have a difficult time telling people what you do or did for work. People assume that you are a locked down person who never has any fun and they tick back through what they've already said to you wondering if they have incriminated themselves. I never admit it on an airplane, that makes for an awful flight. In Seattle if I say "Unitarian" people often say "Oh, I love the UUs!" so it's a little better.
At this job when people ask me what field I worked in or am looking for work in, since we're all looking for work, I say "Oh, I used to be a professional church lady" which makes everyone think of Dana Carvey on SNL. It's intentional. Laugh so you don't think I'm a freak. So, at this job it's kind of how people know me-- as "church lady". Whatever. It's fine. Everyone knows I'm somehow connected with a church.
So back to the hell incident. I said, "I don't believe in hell."
"WHAT?" she said? "But you're the church lady!" It's pretty quiet at our work, and this was pretty loud. Church ladies apparently believe in hell!
No. I don't believe in hell, or the divinity of Jesus or anything much, really.
Except people. I believe in people. I believe in people who screw their lives up and then keep going, and people who love when there is no way anyone could expect them to love one more thing because life has done awful things to them, and I believe in children because children are just so good and holy and whole--always, and I believe in the devoted love of a dog and the long love of dear friends and the moment of a smile shared between strangers in brief passing and people who help when they should probably just keep going...and all of it.
I FEEL the goodness in people. I feel the powerful force of love in this world and in just about every person I meet. People do good things because we, for the most part, are whole and holy and yes.....GOOD. Of course we're also bad and evil and so, so, so broken. But usually, if we have been given a break or two, the love is what guides us. We DO good because we ARE good. Love leads us. Love actually guides us.
From what I've seen in my few decades here on this earth, if we lead with love we are never, ever, ever, wrong. Hell is a magical story spun by someone who was trying to control people.
But love, well love is kick-ass, full-on epic-- real.