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i used to think heaven, jesus et al. literally lived in the clouds and when i went to visit my grandparents i would stare out of the plane window looking for heaven...
I remember listening to my grandfather read the Bible to the family on a Sunday evening when we visited and he read from the book of Exodus. As a child about 5 years old, I really struggled to listen close and pay attention to the reading. My attention was caught when he told of God traveling with the Israelites in a cloud. Against a bright blue background, I pictured a greenish storm cloud, but the cloud was way up high, so it was small, like a gherkin. You see, I thought my grandfather had said God rode in a "pickle cloud", not a "pillar cloud." I'm over 30 years old and all of this time I've had that weird little cloud picture in my head all of this time, not having any idea why until I read through Exodus just the other day.
I used to think that the small sheep on a picture my mam had of jesus birth in the stable was "Worthy" the lamb. This was due to the part of the catholic mass that goes "Worthy the lamb of God, who takes aways the sins of the world. Blessed are we who are called to his supper."
When I was little, I used to think God looked like a Bearenstein bear -- like papa bear, and that Jesus looked like brother bear. I don't know where I got this impression, somehow a crossover of two different literatures I was exposed to as a child. But for a long time when I heard "God," I'd think of a two-dimensional brown bear with a hat and overalls.
When I was young I remember the vicar telling us "Jesus died so that everyone else may live", but he didn't explain how exactly this worked. So I imagined the devil holding a gun to Jesus' head saying "Right Jesus, either I shoot you or I shoot everyone else on this planet."
This also meant that I didn't understand why everyone made such a big deal about his "sacrifice", since it was the obvious choice.
When I was about 9 years old I thought that when I blew bubbles, and they popped in different places on my driveway that I was an angel or a a saint sending new babies to be born all over the world. I even made a little map out of chalk to mark where the babies landed. But if they popped in the air, the mother had had a misscarriage. I felt horrible for all the babies that "died" and i later held small funerals for them.
I attended a convent from ages 6-10. One day, when i was 7 one of the nuns was showing us a video about jesus. We got to the part where baby jesus was laid out on a table, surrounded by bearded men, on wielding a knife. As it dramatically flashed across the screen, accompanied by a piercing cry and followed by the baby jesus sobbing his guts out. I, distressed, asked the nun what they were doing to the poor little baby. She told me they were carving a "J" in his leg for jesus.
Outraged at this shoddy treatment, i told everyone i met about this travesty for years, until someone filled me in on the practice of circumcision.
I used to believe that Jesus was born on Dec. 25 and died on the following Easter -- which meant that he was only a few months old when he died. Somehow, he became adult and did all those miracles in between. (I guess I thought it was just one more miracle!)
When I was 4 or 5 my parents got me some kind of tape about The Prodigal Son. I was terrified of watching it because I thought it was the "The Prong Son" and was about a kid with a sharp prong who killed everyone. I'm 10 and I still don't want to watch it.
i was always hearing mary referred to as the "mother of God." so when they called jesus the "son of God," i thought, "no, He and God are brothers! he's the SON of joseph!"
i used to beleive that mary mother of god, each year on christmas give a birth to a new jesus and sometimes i wondered maybe this year she would give birth to a girl.
My Dad's Christian teachings led me to believe that demons were everywhere.
If I sinned in the slightest way (even thinking about doing something naughty counted) the demons would possess me and I would go to hell.
However, I though I could "get out of it" if I could see a light.
This made it difficult at night, as I would lay awake for hours staring at a distant street light.
I convinced my sister that this was true.
My extremely religious grandmother used to say when one of us did something bad, "The Devil's on your shoulder!" I would try to turn my head to see him too but I was never fast enough. I went around believing there was a mini-Satan on one of my shoulders counterbalanced by a mini-Jesus on the other, waging a personal struggle for my soul. I was afraid the devil might be winning since he was the one Grandma saw. Scary. The only consolation was that he seemed to spend even more time on my cousin Robbie's shoulder.
When I was a little girl, I believed that Jesus' ENTIRE lifespan was from Christmas Day (when he was born) until Good Friday (when he died)...all in the same year. He had one busy year!
When I was little I was constantly afraid of being possessed by the devil, so every day on my way home from school I went into our neighborhood church for a few seconds to reassure myself that the devil is not inside me; because I figured that if I really was possessed then entering the church would make me burn.
In Sunday school before I made my first communion, the nuns told us about God, the Supreme Being, in contrast us human beings. But I heard it as "bean" and for some time pictured God as a giant lima bean in the sky with all us human beans clustered under him in worship.
When I was little, my mother used to watch Unsolved Mysteries all the time, with the host, Robert Stack. For some reason I got it in my head that God was his twin. Probably because he was so old and venerable and had a scary voice. (The theme music also terrified me.) Now, even to this day, if I have to picture what God looks like, he often looks like Robert Stack.
My mum kept asking me "who made you?" possibly meaning for me to say God! I eventually answered "the baker" I imagined the crazy Swedish chef from the muppet show ( known to me as the baker) actually made me in his kitchen with a wooden spoon and a bowl. He was my favourite muppet!
When I was small I believed that Adam was the one who took the fruit from the The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and gave it to Eve ^^'
My older brother used to tell me that if I opened my eyes during prayer at chuch the Holy Spirit would come and get me. You better beleive that for the very influential years of my life that I closed by eyes so tight at chruch that it hurt...anything would be better than the Holy Spirit coming to get you.