Tuesday, May 30, 2006

From atheist to Pastor-Step 1

Saying for the Day: How can there be a God when babies die?

We reach into the archive box and come up with my baptismal certificate. This is not where I was going to start this journey but it’s the right place.
Before my brother died. Before I became an atheist. My parents brought me to the font at Bethel Lutheran Church and God touched me and made me his own. It is here that my faith journey begins.
My parents taught me to pray “Now I lay me down to sleep I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake I pray the Lord my soul to take.” Then I asked God’s blessing on a whole bunch of relatives.
Not much of a prayer but it was a prayer.
When I was six they sent me every Sunday to the Methodist Sunday school. It was earlier than the Lutheran and my dad wanted to go rabbit hunting. While I was in Sunday School they visited with my dad’s relatives who lived in the old family home across the street from the Methodist Church.
During this time in my life I believed there was a God. He was loving. He wanted everybody to be nice to everybody. He expected you to live by his rules. No stealing, no lying, no hurting anybody. He wanted you to do what your parents wanted you to do. I tried as hard as a little kid can to keep the rules.
Once when my dog ran away I asked God to bring him back and promised God I would be really, really good. The dog came back and I forgot the promise.
All was fine until I was nine years old and my little brother Robert died. God left him die. I prayed and God paid no attention. I thought “ What kind of God lets little babies die.” People were of no help. They said things like God needed another angel. What kind of God takes babies away from wonderful people like my mother to make them into angels. I decided that God was either horrible or he didn’t exist. Since I was of a very scientific bent I finally decided he didn’t exist. I was now a nine year old atheist.

News from Pigeon Falls– Non of our pigeon Falls people ended up getting hurt yesterday. Oh, there was some sunburn, a few scraped knees, one white rabbit sighting, and a few have hangovers today. But on the whole the town came through well.
They found another dead pigeon this one looks like it might have been poisoned. Who in the world is trying to get rid of the town’s namesake? What’s a little pigeon poop (okay a lot of pigeon poop) in a town that owes so much to the bird. Just think of all the sweaters with the pigeon logo on them we’ve sold. The story itself hasn’t hurt our tourist industry. We may yet have to call in the state police to put an end to this.
Well the good Bishop shook them all up today. He went to the town hall and asked the Mayor to show him where the council has the right under the town charter of constitution to levee a 1/4 mill property tax. The Mayor ( a good politician) said she was busy at that time but come back on Thursday and she would show him. She then called her husband Tom , who is the unofficial town attorney. They met in the back room of city hall for over an hour and when they came out they didn’t look happy. They are lucky we don’t have a radio station or television station to zero in on this so they have a little breathing room.
Eino says he is pretty sure he knows the secret of the white rabbit, The problem he says is it hasn’t broken any laws so he can’t get a warrant to have a particular house searched. Even if the rabbit had broken a law he has no evidence that this house has anything to do with it. I don’t think a judge would give him a warrant any way since he is not a police officer nor does he have any official capacity. This I do know though when Eino sets his mind to something he doesn’t quit until its done. If I was the white rabbit I would look out for Eino.
The noon train brought the guy from Chicago. He rented a car from Eino and went right out to the house. He didn’t look like a gangster. I understand he called the grocery store ( we only have one) and arranged to have groceries delivered. Talk over at Nancy’s is that if he was a normal good guy he would be spending some time in town instead of hiding in the house. ( But he just got here-Those ladies really get on my nerves).

Betty went to the dentist this morning. Then she planted flowers and made little changes to the outside layout. I started work on the next trestle. We need at least three more trestles to run track to the far end of the layout. Well I need a breathing treatment.


Blogger Mimi said...

Maybe a private investigator is needed for the pigeon mystery.

I think sometimes the strongest faith is built on your own after feeling there is no God. And it looks like thats what happened with you.

5:51 AM  
Blogger Chana said...

I can't believe how beautiful that certificate is...Our kids one are a plain paper with the dotted lines filled...I much rather like yours, it seems that they celebrate births...
I was shocked to read that you, even if it was for a second doubted God. You who are so strong in your faith and who is His so humble servant for so many years. Another lesson for me, thank you...There is much for me to learn from this post..I have lots of thinking to do..Again, thank you.

More dead pigeons eh? hmmm...Mimi is right, an investigator might just be needed...

Hope you are well and read you tomorrow.

8:01 AM  
Anonymous TC said...

..bet those laydees are right, though!

9:51 AM  
Blogger Lori's Minute said...

Ladies get on my nerves, too and the same for when police cannot do anything because someone is going to do something but has not done it yet.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Catch said...

did the ladies ever think maybe the guy is agoraphobic and CANT leave his house???? those ladies love to speculate dont they?

11:40 AM  
Blogger butterflies said...

I was raised in the methodist church too and when my sister was run over by a car when she was 8 I also prayed and prayed that God would save her.He didnt.
I realised after I grew up that God had other plans for her.It didnt make me doubt Gods existance and Im sure I could never have endured the pain if it wasnt for His love...for some reason I have always blamed myself for everything! never God.
I agree with mimi that faith is something we build ourselves.

8:14 PM  
Anonymous loisontheweb said...

I think that a great many people have had similar circumstances to yours.

Later on in life, when we grow up ... we look back to that point in time when we could be so angry with God that we would turn from Him. I always say that youth is not a terminal condition!

THANK GOD that you eventually came back!

8:40 PM  
Blogger W. J. St. Christopher said...

I was nine when I started refusing to go to confession. It would appear that being 9-years-old is a pivotal spiritual time for some of us!

9:24 AM  

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