i will not and cannot ever claim to be an atheist, because i do not deny the existence of God. and, while i continue to question the gods of our religious imaginings, i believe that there must be in all this vast and random expanse of a universe some power greater than the sum of human existence.
it has been a firm belief for most of my life that there are beings who move among us, not to test us or pass judgment over our actions, but to challenge us to find our better selves. the selfless acts we perform daily toward each other without expectation of reward or even acknowledgment, are reflections of their influence in our lives. holding a door for a stranger, helping someone with a package, offering up a seat on a crowded train – each occasion a potential brush with divinity. and while there are holy schools of religious ideology that tell us we should act at these moments as though God is watching us, recording our actions, i prefer to believe that we should instead accept them as opportunities to move closer to our ideal selves.
i started today by stepping (briefly) into a frigid Montreal morning, in search of divine wisdom or some infinitesimally small signal from the cosmos that there is goodness, and happiness, and love enough to make life worth living for even one more day. pulling on multiple layers of warm clothing and a borrowed jacket and boots, i braced myself for the inevitable sting of a mid-winter morning – my soul heavy with doubt, and guilt, and regret at the thoughts that presently reside there – and stepped lightly into the entryway of the apartment building that is at least temporarily “home”.
the most amazing thing about these beings in our midst, is that they do not always have to be present in order for their influence to be felt in our lives. perched atop the hallway radiator, next to the orderly row of residential mailboxes, was a small, white package addressed to me, in my borrowed country, in my borrowed home. a gift, a challenge, and a reminder from someone i have never met face to face that there is divinity all around us, and that God must certainly exist, because his angels move among us each day.
(i am writing B. thank you)
i've seen spirits
i've met angels
beautiful and wondrous