Do You Have an Umbrella of Protection?

"Umbrella of Protection" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

You need an umbrella of protection!
You must be under the spiritual authority of God’s anointed!
You need to be accountable to a shepherd!

That’s what I was taught. 

But I had a spiritual crisis. I needed to talk with someone. There was nobody I could trust.

I eventually found a nun in a monastery who agreed to be my spiritual director. 

What this taught me was I can take care of myself. I didn’t need to obey my superiors or believe their opinions or follow their instructions on what was best for me. 

Churches will teach the “umbrella of protection” and “spiritual authority” over your life…

to make you doubt yourself,
to make you afraid of leaving, and
to prevent you from seeking resources outside of what they provide.

We’re trained to distrust ourselves! 

I’m not saying you shouldn’t seek mentors or guides. What I am saying is you can choose them. And you can choose what to believe or not believe.

Yes, you can find help outside of the permitted sources while you’re in a church. But your church may not like it.

I learned I could take care of myself and have sought guidance from all kinds of “questionable sources”, in person and in books.

People confide in me, terrified that they are breaking a divine law because they are dissatisfied with what’s being fed to them and are seeking sustenance that’s not on the menu from outside of the allowed parameters.

I talk with them about spiritual independence… a new concept for many.
But, they get excited by the possibility of finally getting the help they need. By helping themselves!

You don’t have to live the rest of your life seeking permission.


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