Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
April 13th, 2014 by Joel Watts


New Orleans, Louisiana (NASA, International Sp...

New Orleans, Louisiana (NASA, International Space Station Science, 11/18/06) (Photo credit: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center)

I am in Louisiana for a few days and then to a rather special place in Alabama.

Traveling always puts me into a sort of reflective mood, or mind-set. Maybe it is the destination. After all, I left Louisiana years ago. I left for a variety of reasons and excuses, but more than anything, I just wanted to get away from all that Louisiana was and is in my life. Bad family, bad religion, and just bad.

Leaving West Virginia, the place and I am unnaturally attached too… if you aren’t attached to a geographical locale, I cannot tell you what I mean. But West Virginia represents more than just an unexplainable attached to the land…but good family, good faith, and (believe it not) progressive change.

I got to see the same roads and the same places as I once did. But, they aren’t the same. Things change. Things grow. Cities grow. White people move. What was once pasture is now a hotel and McDonalds. What was one the first “mountain” we saw leaving Louisiana is now a Sam’s Club and a parking lot.

It is a good time to reflect on where I am and where I am going. When I left, I never thought I would be able to return. It is an expensive trip. I’m not saying I can go every week, but I am able to go at least once a year. I have become much closer to my Great Aunts – and great in every sense of the word. Other things, as you know, have changed.

Still, the only thing I really miss here is the food… and I’m not even sure that is the case anymore. Last night, we stopped at Don’s Seafood, a local eatery who I have only later found out has been purchased way from the family owners. The food was… less than stellar. It tasted plastic. It was…boring. But, I still get my Community Coffee – shipped up from Amazon.

And this morning…I get to go to a Southern Baptist Church.

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Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).


5 Responses to “Louisiana”
  1. Know More Than I Should says

    Did you have to go to a hospital afterward to be treated for smoke inhalation from the fire and brimstone sermon?

    • Reminds me of going to Cinncinati. Flying into Covington, KY. In KY, going to a restaurant to eat, and asking for the non-smoking section (this was awhile ago). The waitress looked at me like I was crazy. The only place I’ve seen more smokers was in Italy, and maybe Israel.

      • Know More Than I Should says

        There used to be many places in the South that had more smokers than college graduates. Much the same thing could be said high school dropouts. Some things never change because there’s a lot of money to be made by keeping people ignorant.

    • i tried to get one of those pills that helped your forget…

      • Know More Than I Should says

        Just wait until you get older; you won’t need pill to forget. You might need it for everything else; but you won’t need one to forget!

        P.S. Boy, oh, Boy, I can’t wait until Easter so I can hid my own Easter eggs!!!!! Maybe some bright young kid will invent Easter eggs that find me. That sure make things a whole lot easier.

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