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Looking for God: an Ongoing Tale - Personal meaning beyond stereotypes

Michael Veenema | Interrobang | Opinion | April 10th, 2006

Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.
“So last week you gave me the shocking news that you had visited a church and lived to tell about it. You even liked it. What was it called again, Forest City Community Church?” Mitch asks Tamara as they meet for lunch again.

“That's right, in the south end,” Tamara responds to Mitch. “I was totally surprised by the people. To be honest, I went with images of Christians as tense, disliking people of other religions, homophobic and, well you know, the whole thing about religious people being kind of dull or wanting to sell you something.”

“You didn't find any of that?”

“Well, so far to be honest, pretty much the opposite. But maybe I'm just getting a good first impression. Anyway, for now I'm enjoying just poking around, meeting new people and learning about things at my own pace.”

Tamara continues. “Anyway, I heard somebody say something the other day that at first sounded kind of weird, but the more I thought of it, the more it made sense.”

Mitch waits for Tamara to continue between bites of her food. “And are you going to share this amazing revelation?”

“Don't get smart. I'm trying to be serious. This guy was quoting C. S. Lewis, you know, the author of The Lion, the Witch and the Bathrobe?”

“I've heard of him. I think you mean “Wardrobe.”

“What? Oh, yeah that's right. Sorry. I guess that's a pretty dumb mistake. Well, anyway, this guy was saying that God is not safe, but he is good.”

“And. . .?”

“Isn't that a cool way to look at God? I mean, I used to think that I could only ever start believing in God if he turned out to be a member of the NDP, a feminist, a gay rights advocate, a reader of the Koran, a fan of Sarah McLachlan and a surrogate grandfather all in one. Grandmother actually.”

“You mean he's not?”

“Aren't you being a little too irreverent? Anyway, as I was sitting in my seat last Sunday, it occurred to me that if there is a God, he's got to be bigger than all those things. He will probably challenge me on these assumptions because, after all, presumably he has more to him than I can ever think of.

“And besides, the things I've just mentioned might go down in history as somewhat passing. Temporary. I would think that God has a little more about him that is permanent. So, maybe he will challenge many of the ideas I've grown up with. In that way, he isn't particularly safe.”

Mitch considers this a moment. “Ok, but what about the goodness part of him?”

“I'm beginning to feel that there are some parts of my thinking that need major adjustment, which might be painful. But in the end, if God is really looking out for me and for the world, that will be ok.”

“So, what part of your thinking is going to change?”

“I can feel my way of looking at the world changing, but it's hard to put it into words right now. But one thing is happening. Some of the ideas I had about Christian believers seem pretty stereotypical now. What do you think, is that a good start?”

To be continued.
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