When I was a teen, there was a year when I went to three funerals. It was already a confusing and rocky year for me, but that just put the icing on the dysfunction cake.
There was one that I will never forget. It was for a woman who had been a fixture at my grandmother’s church. Whenever I visited that church as a child, the woman would go out of her way to be as kind and caring to the children of the church as possible. She was loved and respected by everyone in the church, myself being no exception. As I got older, visiting the church, I always looked forward to seeing her. She was one of the kindest people I’d ever met.
And then she was gone.
I’ve started this post under false pretenses. This isn’t about the loss of such a respected, kind women, or even the two others who died that year.
It’s about my loss of faith.
I remember walking up to this woman’s casket for the viewing. I remember looking at her face and noting how much she looked unlike herself. I remember thinking that no God that I wanted to believe in would take this woman from the people she loved, from the community that adored her, so early.
I stopped believing in God that day.
My faith has always been a fine line for me. I now consider myself agnostic, and it took a lot for me to get to this point. To this day, I still have a problem with the idea of a god who would disown me because of my sexual orientation. Who would punish two heterosexual adults for having sex in a loving, monogamous relationship because they aren’t married. So for a long time I said that God didn’t exist.
But I think it’s more mature and honest to say that no one can possibly know that. You can’t know that this world isn’t the product of intelligent design, and you can’t know for a fact that it is.
You’ll notice that throughout this whole post, I capitalized “God”. This is not a statement of my belief, it’s out of respect for those who do believe. And no, I don’t have to do that, but it’s my personal choice. And I can only ask for that same respect in return.