It can feel awkward to write about your faith. No one wants to create controversy. For that reason, many of us have qualms when it comes to writing about faith and the role it plays in our lives.
The flip side, however, is that writing our stories without including our beliefs or religious upbringing (or even lack thereof) leaves an incomplete picture. There’s good news, however. There are many ways to write about your faith and share your spiritual side without the reader feeling like you’re hoping to convert them.
Write about Your Faith through Your Memories
An easy way to begin is to write about what you remember or what you’ve been told about growing up in your faith tradition. These memories will especially resonate with your family members who are in the process of building traditions of faith in their own households. These stories can be simply told, yet give loved ones an insight into your early years. (A good example of this is Diwali Days.)
1. Early Prayers
Did you grow up with the traditional “Now I lay me down to sleep…” or did your family have another bedtime tradition? What about blessings before meals? For instance, my family did not have a standard one, but my husband’s Lutheran family still practices the one he learned as a child. These early prayers are a great way to write about your faith in the context of your memories.
2. Sacraments or Rites:
Were you baptized as a baby or did you have naming or bris? What stories have you been told about it? Do you have photos from that day? For instance, Christians may want to write their memories of taking their first communion. Those were baptized at an older age, will have memories of making a profession of faith. Sharing these stories is a great way of sharing the depth of your belief.
3. Going to Your House of Worship
Writing about your religious upbringing is another easy way to write about your faith. How did your church, synagogue, mosque, or other house of worship figure in your upbringing? Did you attend every Sabbath or only on high holidays? Were you raised in a mixed-faith environment? Was another language involved in your church upbringing? How fluent were you? Do you remember enjoying those outings? Were they coupled with other traditions, such as a Sunday dinner with your grandparents?
4. Coming of Age Ceremonies
Many religions have a coming of age ceremony. Did yours? Outline your memories as you write about your faith and what those memories mean to you. Remember to include the relatives in attendance and the small moments that made it special. Photos will enhance your writings nicely.
(C) 2013 Laura Hedgecock