The old lady came over today. She does that from time to time, as people do (though she never seems to remember).
I usually dislike religious zealots interrupting me at home, especially when I'm sick and not in the best of moods. Normally I would say something like " I don't want to buy whatever your selling, even your idea of god. Goodbye." This old lady seems different somehow. Maybe its her sincerity - she doesn't sell anything. Maybe its just her age, I'm not sure.
I saw her coming, so I beat her to the door and greeted her with a smile. She introduced herself and I invited her in - her name is Margaret. I apologized for my sniffling and she inquired about my health. It's just a passing cold, but she took the opportunity to slide in the question: "Wouldn't it be good if we lived in a world where no one got sick?" I replied that it would indeed be a fine existence. "God has the power to make that happen" she tells me, and I decline to say that if this is true he should have done so a long time ago.
Instead I tell her that I am not religious and haven't given the subject much thought. She tells me that it's ok, I just haven't realised the truth yet. Her look makes me wonder if she's having a joke but I just nod politely and ask how her day is going. Everyday is wonderful apparently. We talk for a further ten minutes or so before the conversation slides back to religion. She hands me a brochure with an artist's impression of a 'perfect world'. The brochure is smaller than last time, I wonder if the church is struggling financially or if these ones are just easier to carry from door to door...
The picture sure looks good. All and sundry are working equally in the fields, reaping the crop so that they might live another day in perfect harmony. I comment that (no offence) it reminds me of old communist party propaganda and get the response that "Politics have nothing to do with it, this is how things should be." Still quite a coincidence though I think. I sense that she did in fact take offence to my last remark, so I ask how she feels religion has changed her.
Having been a devoted christian for over 50 years, all that she remembers is that "Before I felt that something was missing, now I have found faith and I am complete." I tell her that I too have faith, I just don't worship I higher being as part of the deal. My faith is in the human race - sure we have our flaws but I believe that as a whole we are worth protecting. Worth fighting and dying for, in fact.
This earns me a crinkled smile and the opinion that I am a good person. She tells me that its moments like these that make her quest worthwhile. I am not sure what I have done to deserve this but thank her anyway. She gets up, wishes me well and takes her leave. I sit and ponder. A smile stretches across my face and I realise that she has just made my day as well. I feel cleansed somehow, and stable. I am in control of my future and it looks good.
Just thought I would share that.