Monday, November 17, 2014
My Friend, the Atheist
Avowed atheist. Vehemently anti-Jesus. My friend passed away this week. My heart breaks for him. He spent his life seeking truth, a truth outside of any traditional understanding of God. He leaves this life with his friends left wondering. What happened? Why didn't you reach out to us? What the heck?
He leaves me wondering a different set of questions. What happens to him now? What did HE believe would happen after his passing? Did he have a change of heart during his passing and grab onto God in his last moments? What would it be like to die Godless? This is why my heart aches so much. I remember the love that was poured out over me when my heart stopped, and I know it to be the love of a Creator that sees me as his beautiful daughter. Did my friend have that love to go home to? He was certainly the Creator's beautiful son, and I have no way of knowing what he felt in the depths of his heart. Lord, I pray, that in your mercy you showed him your love, and let him see how beloved he was.
I wonder how he would feel if he knew he helped me grow closer to God? His rejection of the idea of God was a healthy challenge to me to look at what I believe and why. He made me "back it up" and in doing so, solidified my stance on my faith. One of the last things he said to me in person was, "How can you be a Catholic when your priests rape children?" Well, priests obviously don't ALL rape children. He was making a point. (And he loved to stir my pot, if possible.) Obviously anyone who hurts a child like that is just plain wrong! But it made me remember that the good priests (and there are THOUSANDS of good ones) are called to help people worship God.
Their job, and mine, is to make certain that people know they are made in the beautiful image and likeness of God HIMSELF. Our job, as Christians, is to help everyone know that they are loved and valued by a Creator who made you the way you are on purpose, because you are beautiful and LOVEABLE! I hope my friend knew that. I hope he knew that all the way down to the cellular level that he was loved and created EXACTLY the way he was to love and be loved.
And I loved him very much. Lots of people did. He was so much more beautiful than he ever gave himself credit for. My friend the atheist did God's work of growing my faith in a way no Christian brother or sister could, and for that I am thankful. I hope he found peace and truth.