Because I grew up eating Southern Baptist guilt for Sunday brunch, I felt like I needed to request God’s forgiveness for everything. My nightly prayers comprised a litany of offenses – anything from making fun of my teacher’s pronunciation of the date (Mondee, Tuesdee, Wednesdee, etc.) to stealing a diary key from a boutique and burying it in my backyard. I convulsed on my bed sobbing, desperate for redemption.
“Good girl,” my father probably thought while watching The Smothers Brothers a couple rooms over.
To be safe, I sought absolution for crimes I didn’t even commit, in case God wasn’t completely watching and might be confused.
One Halloween, my best friend’s mother took us to the local parade where hillbillies dressed as hippies, Huckleberry Finn, and hookers hurled candy from their floats. On the car ride home I sat in the back seat with my friend’s little brother Christopher, who bemoaned his accumulation of several grape Jolly Ranchers but only one of the coveted green apple flavor.
Once Mrs. Burger parked in front of my house, everyone leapt out of the car, and one of my green apple Jolly Ranchers slid into the mound of candy in Christopher’s seat. Just as I finished scraping it back into my pile with a White Mystery AirHead, Mrs. Burger opened my door and caught me even though I didn’t do anything wrong so I resolved to pray about it pronto because I shouldn’t be concerned with setting things straight with Mrs. Burger but with God.
While listening to my plea, God probably thought, “That church fucked this girl up GOOD.”
I ended the entreaty with the following refrain:
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it!
His child and forever I am.
In theaters June 28th.