I recently read a beautiful post by Stacey at Is There Any Mommy Out There. It got me reflecting on my beliefs, on what I would want my children to believe.
For a long time I accepted the existence of something, a power greater than myself, but I did not believe. I did not have faith.
I wondered how could god allow terrible things to happen; war, disease, death and destruction. How could god allow people to kill others in his name. How could god allow others to hate in his name. I could not, I would not accept that god would want that. I did not believe. I did not have faith.
The world was in chaos. We were alone. I did not believe. I did not have faith.
I also wondered why god had not shown himself in my life. How could I be alone and lost? How could I be struggling and in so much pain? I prayed the prayers I was taught. I asked for help. No help came. I did not believe. I did not have faith.
I was in chaos. I was alone. I did not believe. I did not have faith.
Then something wonderful happened. I was lost, struggling and in pain and help came. I found people who had a calm and a peace that I wanted. I asked them how this was possible. I wanted to know their secret. Their answer was simple. They had belief. They had faith.
But how can you believe in a god that is vengeful? How can you believe in a god that allows atrocities to be committed in his name? How can you believe when, in god's name, people will tell you what to do and who to love? In the face of all of this, how can you believe? How can you have faith?
Again their answer was simple. If your God does not do these things, what does your God do? What type of God would you believe in?
I would believe in a God of love. My God believes in equality and the goodness of everyone. My God would want us to work for justice, to help those less fortunate. My God is a God of peace and understanding.
Good, they answered. Place your belief and faith in that God. If you truly accept and believe, you will not struggle. You will find peace.
So I did what they suggested. I placed my belief in the God of my understanding. I found peace. I found hope. I found belief. I found faith.
I will teach my children, despite what people say and do in the name of god, there is a God of love and peace. They can believe. They can have faith.