“You’ll never read this because you’re too busy NOT being real. What a bunch of bull! I cannot endorse this [God] myth!” an angry reader wrote, recently.
Then he went on to set me straight.
I’ll call him “Jack” because I like that name.
But I gasped out loud when I read his comments. You just don’t hear words like that every day in the Bible Belt. Finally, I shrugged it off. Jack can go join the others who think I’m nuts. Whatever.
The next Sunday, our church was ablaze with lighted Christmas trees. Verses of hope were read. Uplifting prayers were prayed. And a word of encouragement offered. Then the crowd jumped to their feet and sang “Oh come let us adore Him,” with joy in our hearts and smiles on our faces.
And I began to think of Jack.
What was he doing? Why did my words tick him off so much? Was he still angry, sitting at home in a t-shirt, surfing the net, all alone in the dark?
I had no idea, but he didn’t strike me as an overly happy person, who is totally at peace with what he believes.
If he was, he wouldn’t be so angry at my beliefs.
I don’t know Jack or where he lives, but if I were to see him on my street tomorrow, what would I say?
It bothered me because I had no idea. So of course, I went home and began writing him a letter, even though I have no way to send it. (Writers do weird things like this, you know. We process stuff on paper. Let me know what you think.)
Thank you for your comment on my post the other day. You made your point abundantly clear. And while I find your direct, not-beating-around-the-bush style refreshing, I find your words troubling.
Here’s why: I am being real. God is not a myth. And that’s the truth.
Yet sometimes, believing in God is hard. Especially when you’re disappointed or hurting. I get it.
But Jack, when I open my eyes and look around, I can’t help but believe. Honestly, I can’t say that red maples and multi-colored wood ducks,
the 5.5 million species of insects on the earth, sprinting whitetail deer and stargazer lilies, the taste of a ripe Georgia peach in July,
the pure love of a mother and the playfulness of toddlers, red Alabama dirt and frothing Tennessee waterfalls,
the 4,000+ world languages and multiple dialects, all the art in the Met and the majestic sound of stringed instruments in concert,
and actually, all of life itself, came from absolutely nothing.
That defies logic.
It breaks the universal law of cause and effect.
All these effects had a cause.
We call Him the Creator.
He’s a living being, not a “big bang.”
To believe that life sprang out of an explosion requires more faith than believing in a Creator does.
It’s like believing a Rembrandt, in all its richness and detail, somehow evolved out of a fireball, grew a gold frame, inched on over to the Louvre and hung itself on a nail. It’s just not possible.
Nor is finding an intricate, living cell in the big bang’s rubble.
Much less the entire planet in all of its wonder and glory.
That couldn’t happen in a billion trillion years.
Only nothing comes from nothing.
Or to put in mathematical terms, 0 + 0 = 0.
Mathematicians call it the “rule of zero properties.” And it always holds true.
Confession: I had to look that up. And while math isn’t my best subject, it makes sense. Perhaps deep down, it makes sense to you, too, Jack.
I hope that you can accept this as truth.
It means a lot, if you do.
Here’s why: if the world has a Creator, then it means that you have a Creator.
It means you’re more than just a random blob of cells.
You were carefully designed. Like a fine painting, you were created by a master artist.
The Creator desired to create you. He put great effort into it.
You’re not just matter–but you do matter to your Creator.
In fact, God loves you, Jack.
I wish you could know His great love. Like you, there was a time when I didn’t know God’s love, personally. Although I believed in God, I thought of Him as a distant dictator, who had little interest in me.
But this isn’t logical. Not if He created me. For what Creator takes no interest in His creation?
No, God loves His creation, especially me and you, for we are His pièce de résistance. The highest form of His creation, the only living things made in His likeness.
Since God is powerful enough to grant us life, He can also grant us eternal life.
I believe He already has. His name is Jesus.
I know this name gets thrown around a lot. People pair it with swear words. Some write it on t-shirts and bumper stickers. Others misuse it to hurt people. Perhaps someone has misused it to hurt you, and if so, I am sorry.
But this doesn’t change the truth: God grants eternal life to all who believe in His Son Jesus.
Jack, I can’t convince you to believe. It’s a choice you have to make. But if you feel in your heart that there is even a grain of truth to any of this, please don’t ignore it.
Believe it. Receive it. For it is the truth, and it can set you free.
Free from thinking your life is a random, meaningless experience.
Free from feeling like you don’t matter a bit, because you’re just a bit of matter.
Free from believing that you came from nothing and are headed toward nothing.
Free from living for nothing greater than yourself.
Free from the crushing belief that your life has no intrinsic value.
Free from thinking this life is all there is.
Free from your anger at my faith and confidence.
Free from being outraged at my simple post on gratitude.
Free from trying to justify your beliefs by attacking mine.
To all who receive Jesus, He gives the right to become children of God. His children belong to Him, forever (Rom. 8:15-16). They’re free. Loved (Rom. 8:38-39). Cared for. Protected. Guided. They have a purpose for living. Real hope. A bright future. And peace with God (Rom 5:1-2), both now and forever.
You don’t have to live without these blessings, Jack. They can all be yours.
Believe. ‘Tis the season.
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Love this response written with words that bring glory to God. May God bless you and your work!
Thank you Rita! Writing this helped me organize my thoughts and consider what I believe and why. I didn’t know if I should share it or not, because I usually don’t respond to critics, but this time, I just had to.
This is beautiful and expressed so eloquently May. You are truly a blessing to me.
Hi Cathy, right back at you, sweet friend! Hoping a few “Jacks” out there will read and consider.