Monday, November 25, 2019

One of the many things I don't know

I am very good at knowing 'what I don't know'. I live fully into my ignorance of many, many things. I actually glory in not having to 'know' everything.

One thing I don't know--and know I don't know it--is, as I've said before in this space--what happens when we die.

I consider myself a faithful Christian--I'm an Episcopal priest, after all. But I know I don't know if I truly know the Christian belief of an after-life. I lean toward it and try to believe it--but I know I don't know.

Bern told me about a novel she was reading when someone very important to an 11 year old girl died.

"Where is he now?" she asked.

Her father answered, "before he was born he was no where and now that he's dead, he's no where again."

That's one of the answers of what I know I don't know about what happens when we died.

But just the other day, I talked with a woman whose father had just died. I asked her how she was and she said, "I just know he's with my mother now and that's where he wanted to be since she died."

I nodded and hugged her.

Being with people you loved who are dead when you die is a lovely way of thinking. I'd be delighted and exuberant if that turns out to be true.

But I know I don't know if it is.

You see, I think Christianity is about 'how we live', not about 'what happens when we die'.

Jesus taught us to be compassionate and generous and to care about the lot of 'the least of these' in our midst. He taught us to be truthful and courageous in the face of sin. He taught us to never buy into the lies of those above us and to always love and care for those below us.

And that's enough for me to be a Christian. I know that I know all that is true and right and good.

Beyond that there is simply a lot I know I don't know.

And I'm fine with not knowing.

What I lean toward and live for is enough for me.

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.