First, why I don’t not believe in God.
I don’t not believe in God because evil and suffering exist, because our choices are a reflection of us and not proof against the existence of something else.
I don’t not believe in God because reason is supreme and faith is flawed, because I’ve seen plenty of humanity’s reasoning, and sorry, I’m not impressed.
I don’t not believe in God because sometimes my prayers aren’t answered, because the fact that I don’t always get what I want or that sometimes shit happens — very bad shit — doesn’t mean there isn’t a greater reality above all that.
I don’t not believe in God because so many horrible things have happened in God’s name, because so many horrible things have happened in our name, and if we didn’t have God to blame or justify, let’s face it, we’d still find a way to screw each other over.
But neither do I believe in God because there is kindness and love and compassion, because there’s selfishness and cruelty and tyranny, and too many times its voice is louder.
I don’t believe in God because sometimes my prayers are answered, because many times they’re not, and more to the point, the prayers of others with more urgent needs aren’t either.
I don’t believe in God because miracles happen, because though I’ve seen them they don’t happen near as much as this world needs them.
I don’t believe in God because of the Bible or any other set of writings held sacred by humanity, because though I respect the high regard in which they are held in the hearts of people, they are words, and when the Infinite is squeezed into the Finite, something is lost in the translation.
I don’t believe in God because of prophets or priests or monks or personal testimony…unless it’s mine, because God is experiential, which means you don’t get to define it for me. I have to experience it.
But you can give me hints.
I believe in God, because when I am very still, and go into that quiet place deep within, when I pull all my attention back from the past and reclaim it from the future, when I gather up my worries and anger, my desires and hopes and set them aside — when I enter into that place of silence, I feel loved.
Pure and simple.
No great Cosmic Epiphany. No Mandate from Heaven. No booming voice from a burning bush or the impersonal bliss of eternal oneness.
Nope, I just feel loved, loved by…SomeOne, Something…More…Love with my name on it.
And that to me is God. Or at least, let me clarify, what little I am able to perceive and experience as God.
The thing is, when I take that moment with me, I swear, I can see it peaking out at me in moments of kindness, on the sound of someone’s laughter, in a setting sun, a smile on the face of a passing stranger or the look of wonderment in my grandchild’s eye.
And I am happy.
This is just a hint.
Nothing I will fight or kill for. I promise I will not persecute you, nor will I ridicule you for non-use of your brain if you disagree.
Because frankly, I don’t care. I can always return to that quiet place, and the more times I do the more moments I take back with me, and in this world I am starting to see unfold, there’s room enough for all of us.