Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Do You Make Up Your God?

One day some 10 years or so ago, Jed, a young student of mine, told me as we were sharing lunch together that he was a Catholic and then he asked if I was. "No, " I told him. "Well, are you Jewish?" he followed up. "No," I told him again. "You know the only difference between Christians and Jews is that God is coming for the Jews and God has already come for the Christians." Jed informed me. "Interesting," was my comment. "Do you believe in God?" Jed went on. Hmmm, I found myself thinking. Here I am sitting in a public school discussing religion with this vulnerable student. A student who I eat lunch with once a week. A student who comes from a cerebral family and seems to struggle with peer relationships. "Well, I think I do but I don't go to church," I finally told Jed. "Oh, you just make up your God?" he innocently asked me. What do you say to that? I am spiritual. I do think there is a God but I don't call myself religious. "Well, not exactly," I answered his question with as much seriousness as I could gather. In the bubble over my head I was laughing and marveling at how this smart little boy was trying to understand my beliefs. Later that evening as I lay in bed, I thought about our conversation. Do I believe in God? More and more the older I get, I do, I thought. Do I make my God up? I don't think so, and I hope not, but then again maybe we all do.

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