I received an unsolicited call from a someone who I’ve not spoken with in a little under two years. The call left me thinking about how quickly time passes and how fast our lives turn corners and choose to walk down different avenues and that sometimes no matter which avenues are chosen, we somehow manage to return to the same street corners.
When this individual and I met, they were struggling with many issues, most notably their faith and the moments of darkness they’d lived which had led them to question their space in this world and what it — life — all meant.
By most standards, this person’s life was and remains exceptionally blessed, but pain is relative and so what appears as ‘perfect’ on the outside has just as many fragments and cracks as the lives of others.
Raised Catholic and having grown into uncertainty, we often had confused conversations along the lines of: “God damn the church. Not really. I don’t know. That’s sacrilegious,” even though through it all, this individual believed in Him.
What it boiled down to was a disbelief in the representation of Him as had been provided to this individual, and so they were unknowingly searching for a representation they could hold on to and in which they could believe – or at least, as with the rest of us, embrace and struggle with always, as the human condition demands of faith.
For this individual, these issues seem to be slowly disappearing – they’re not completely resolved, nor will they ever be, I don’t think – but they’re being faced and challenged with honesty. It was also nice to hear that a catalyst for these changes was me, especially when I had no idea I’d done anything other than express my own beliefs when asked about them.
What seemed to have resonated was that I accepted even when I just didn’t get it and even when I didn’t want to. Oddly enough, that struck a chord and this individual was left wanting to know more about the how of such acceptance to see if it could aide them. Even two years later!
And let me tell you, there is no shortage of ‘gurus’ in this person’s life (all requiring copious amounts of money to share their self-proclaimed brilliance). Our conversation – apart from catching up – was centered around our individual understanding of when bad things happen to good people. I hope I helped, if only a little.
While chatting, I had my radio on and was listening to a man on CBC argue vehemently against religion and express – among many other intelligent thoughts – that Muslim women are brainwashed and it was the duty of men such as him to enlighten and educate Muslim women on matters such as hijab.
I put my phone up to the radio so that my friend could hear what was being said and he found it as amusing and as inconsequential as I did. He asked me to turn it off and said: “I used to think I didn’t believe in God and I used to sort of think along the same lines as that guy, until I realised that I don’t need to believe in God for Him to exist…but He needs to believe in me. And of all the people around me, I’m trusting the brain of a Muslim woman so I don’t fu*king think of you as someone who needs to be enlightened! *Sigh* *Giggle* Now just turn that sh* off and tell me about your weekend. Also, when’s Ramadan? I think I may try a day or two.”
Life is weird and the people we meet even more so. That reality may very well be the pleasure of it all…