Monday, July 24, 2006

Summer Holidays

So I was on the phone to a friend and she suggested that I join her in a 50 mile sponsored walk. Being in a somewhat manic mood at the moment, I responded in the affirmative with this being the outcome. So I now have 3 months to raise £500 and get into shape for a 50 mile walk in 2 days in the foothills of the Pyrennees, to raise money to take disabled children to Lourdes with our Lourdes group.

So why is a committed atheist doing this? Perhaps my posts back in April about the Lourdes trip (Lourdes1- Lourdes7) will tell why. Despite not believing in the events that took place there, nor in the God that those go there pray to, I believe in the positive effects that taking such children away as a group and giving them the love and care that they need can bring...

So in practising I am incuring the wrath of Tom. Today, we went to Cefn On Park (pics above) so I could walk my mile. Tom was irate and trailed behind muttering about how I shouldn't do things for other people, only him and how hot it was. In the end he told me it was so hot, he wished he could destroy the sun.
"You'd be dead too then" I informed him.
"I DON'T CARE!!!" was the impassioned response.
Recognising by this that our son1 was strongly moved, I probed into why life had got so troubled once again.

The non arrival of a game he was expecting was the trigger and it needed much coaxing and Socratic type questioning to arrive at a point where he would let the sun live.
That and an ice cream helped.
And now he's back happily playing on a game- for the next ten minutes or so...
And I am increasingly thankful that weapons of extraordinary power are out of his hands...

And me, I'm gathering up my energy to do another walk...
So, please, if you know any millionaires, point them in the direction of my site and ask them to send some money to help send some children to Lourdes.
And keep me and my poor legs in your thoughts. They're complaining already...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Busy week

So this time last week I was in Antwerp at a truly joyous celebration of the love that two people have for each other. And Tuesday I was in Glasgow. And today I am recovering from a Ball last night.
Add in to that a busy couple of days in work, emotional turmoil between colleagues and children and you have one busy week.
But, as always, it came and went. Time marched on unstoppable. And in cyber land, feelings were hurt, dramas enacted, rules discussed and pondered and enforced.
And I felt increasingly disconnected from this strange virtual world where seemingly small things take on such huge proportions and my world, where I am ant like amongst the important virtual Christians, who stomp round and trample without thought of who they are crushing with their words and actions.
And who seem so strangely disconnected themselves (with notable exceptions) from the words of the Christ they follow.

And last night, Martin fixed me with his beady eye, inbetween his usual pattern of behaviour and reminded me that I was to come and see him to chat.
I laughed.
Still atheist, I told him.
Made no promises either.
No words of his will convince, from him will come nothing new, all that may happen is a fracturing of friendships.
So I smiled and accepted the Sambucca offered and left him in Martin universe.

And now it is morning and I am wide awake and M snores peacefully and T roams the house in his morning fashion.
Another busy day to face.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Faith 2

Hebrews 11.1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

What do I now hope for, now that I no longer believe?

Having read this thread on CF, in particular one or two of the posts from Christians, it is as if I have become colour blind to God.
The things they say make no sense.
Once I used to say those things, think like that, believe with all my heart and mind and strength, yet now, it seems like so much straw.
So what do I have faith and hope in?
Those I love, those I cherish, those I trust.
Those real living breathing people that I have surrounded myself with, who work with me and live with me and love with me and laugh with me and cry with me.
And one day all shall be dust.
No substance in my future, just an end to me and my conscious presence in this world.
No gates of paradise to walk through, no beatific vision, no happy ending of the Last Battle for me.
Some may wonder how I keep on living with this thought.
Why not end now, walk away?
Well, I don't want to, I have too much to do, my boys to see to, my clients to listen to and hold through their despair and their dark nights. Who would see to them and who would put on Tom's cream, calm his fears, laugh at his jokes, soothe his troubled brow?
But I retain the right to walk away at a time of my choosing if ever the going gets too much and I have nothing left to offer, no family or friends to fight for, to give to, no skills left for those who need it.
And I can live with that knowledge of the finality and inevitability of death.
It is real for me, as surely as day follows night follows day, that one day I will be no more.
And as reality, I prefer it to the stories I used to live with.
The story of a creator who consigns people to eternal torment for following the wrong path, for foolishness, for silly human pride and weaknesses that we all posses. Who listens to the wailing and gnashing of teeth, but who does not respond for all eternity.
Thinking this through and saying it out loud makes me unspeakably sad, because this is not how I used to see the Lord, the one who was my Lord, my God, my all.
But my vision has altered and there is no way back.
There is no substance now in the things I once hoped for and no evidence of things unseen.
Just me and reality going forward, till I get as far as I can go.