I was raised as a Christian in the 50’s and had a religious crisis at 16. I couldn’t believe that God’s plan was that children would die or that He would sanction any war. I didn’t believe that God meant for people to be hungry, afflicted with disease, oppressed, or suffer despair.
My big break to understanding God came when I studied science. I learned that “something does not come from “nothing”. I was hardly the first, but I decided to call whoever started everything “God”.
Then I looked at my Grandmother, and hundreds of other ” really good” people. I could see that they came in all kinds of religions, and sometimes no religion at all. Religion did not seem to be the key to goodness. Rather “Goodness” became, for me, a defining attribute of God’s presence.
My Grandmother’s wrinkled face was the most beautiful face I had ever seen. I choke up now just thinking of the beauty of her being. Then I knew that God was beauty, not the relative beauty that our society worships, but inner beauty and the glory of nature.
I have a child and understand the love that goes into raising them. God is often referred to as “our Father or Mother”. To the very depths of my being I know that God is love. I can only begin to understand God’s love by the tears I cried when my daughter was hurt or sick. I also remember how I held back from solving all her problems. This may sound cruel, but I told her that if she was ever committed a crime, that she could count on me… to visit her in jail.
I’m 60. I believe that God exists and is pure goodness, beauty, and love. From being a mom, I know that God forbears to interfere with our lives as I forbear with my daughter’s. This comforts me and gives me peace of mind. I prefer to be a good person, although I know I am free not to be. I make mistakes, because I’m human and not God. I’m cool with that, and hope that that I may understand others in that light.
I regret not being a better writer, and not having a more spectacular incident to share. But while my search was rather mundane and took a long time, I believe there are many who have long, rather quiet, searches for God and meaning in life. Sometimes it’s nice to know you’re not alone.
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