Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fictitious fairies

"Muuuuuum," an exasperated voice woke me this morning. "Can you email or text the tooth fairy again; she still hasn't been." T was not impressed. I'd already explained that the tooth fairy only did Sumner once a week but I had promised to remind her. My mum doesn't think this is fair. Apparently it's about time I told him that the tooth fairy is made-up, a story we believe because it feels good.

I used to believe in the God of the fundamentalists, the chap who would have us burn in hell for our unconfessed transgressions. Now I prefer to spend Sunday mornings reading the paper.

In the week between my mammogram and biopsy I went to a party in Auckland, and bumped into an old friend from those pentecostal days. "How is your relationship with God?" he asked. No expressed interest in my children, my husband, my business, my study. Just intense fascination with whether or not I could be re-saved. I was assured right near the end of our conversation that while I might have forgotten God, he hadn't forgotten me and that within the next week he would make himself known to me anew. Which as we all know, he did. Cancer must be God's new way of saying hi.

Serious illness affects people's faith in different ways. Some find religion, others question what they've always believed. I'm tackling this issue as I face any. I'm reading every intelligent book I can get my hands on and evaluating the pros and cons of every viewpoint. But like falling in love, faith is ultimately a matter of heart not head and I'm hoping for moments of peace when calm contemplation will reveal a quiet voice.

With a bit of luck this voice will remind me to put $5 (overdue payment fees included) under T's pillow. And while my own faith is in limbo I'm not too proud to receive the loving kindness of whoever or whatever you believe in.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tooth fairy handing out gold or silver coins and God handing out cancer gifts. I don't think so. Tooth fairy part is easy, it's always mum but God.. that's a little more tricky. Best shot at it for me is Jesus who said that if you want know what God is like look at him. All I ever saw in Jesus was stuff like compassion, acceptance and total unconditional love. Like his Father, he just doesn't do cancer to say hi. To blame God on every malaise in world is a convenient truth even to insurance companies who have this 'act of God' thing going so they don't have to pay out. I'm absolutely sure you have many close friends and family who probably don't have all the answers to the many mysteries life throws at us, yet pray for you and your family every day. You are so right on many things especially on this one thing, He will never leave nor forsake you.