Eve inserts people into my life very easily.
Outside we stood. Our faces in the sun. She told me all about the wheels on the cars lining our road. Five in total. Five “wheels”. She is very good at pronunciation. Two women then walked by, bearing the Watchtower magazine. They smiled enormously at Eve. What did Eve do? She said “hi”. And waved.
Great. Wave in a friendly manner at a random human passing by will you? Let’s see how far in life that particular skill gets you, my girl.
I don’t believe in God. I believe in people. I don’t believe in organised religion. I don’t believe in judging a human based on their individual beliefs, that they, as one amongst billions, are free to choose as they wish. I don’t believe in the persecution of a single human being who thinks differently to me, or sees the world differently to me. We all exist in our own space. The world is for sharing. Not destroying.
It’s important to remember that our beliefs are taught to us at a very young age, religious or otherwise. This does not make them true. There is no truth in an idea. Truth exists in action. Action is the result of an idea.
So. Jehovah’s Witnesses. Annoying aren’t they? All their talk about “Jesus Loves You”. Taking time to happily plod around a community. Being stared at. Ridiculed. Children spitting at their feet. All for the love of God. Each one trying their very best to make a connection with endless, frowning strangers.
“1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
There is some lovely writing in the bible. We discussed other verses. We spoke about Nelson Mandela. Science. Existence. The whole experience lasted about ten minutes. The time between us throbbed.
Eve was quite taken. They smiled at her adoringly. Children can be very powerful.
Anyway. We’re meeting again to have more discussions. I will have to project manage the whole affair. I am still slightly worried that she will one day just “turn up”. On a whim. Or perhaps God will speak to her, conveniently right outside my front door. Every Sunday.
The two women knew the Bible inside out. They had tiny Bibles. Pocket books. Each leather bound and old. Wrinkly. Experienced. Each one happy to divulge content to any who wished to peel their pages open. An incredible amount of content in a tiny, tiny book. How many people turn to a book for comfort? How many people turn to the Bible for comfort? Many. There are a lot more devout Christians than there are people like me. I haven’t read the Bible. I don’t believe in God.
I do, however, believe in the idea of a God. The idea of a God swims through all of us. In various international waters. In many endless, countless shapes and colours.
Whatever God is, and whoever and whatever decides to enter into your life, it is nice to be nice. Even though I think I do, I do not know everything. Eve is doing her homework in a few years. There will be learning to do. For all of us. In many, many ways. Eve will listen patiently to me. Or ignore me. The latter is more likely. Overall my point to this piece is that the more you know about the world around you, the more likely you are to understand why it is the way it is.
So for Eve? Her beliefs? It’s up to her. I’ll enjoy exploring religion with her. I’ll enjoy exploring the world with her. If she wants to. The world we live in is shaped by religion. It’s important we know the reasons for this.
The idea of God can even be used for comedy. The comments are worth reading.
Educate yourself a bit.
1. The Jehovah’s Witnesses who stopped to talk to me and my daughter were intelligent, sharp and friendly. Tender and gentle people. The important point to raise is that they both asked who we are. My daughter and I. Idly watching the sun burn across the sky.
2. In this world, a spare five minutes to be pleasant to someone, can instlil unseen levels of confidence in others. It is not difficult to do.
3. Jehovah’s Witnesses are doing much more to listen to damaged and broken people living in my community than I am. Perhaps there is something I can do about that. Perhaps there are some ideas, some glistening green shoots of hope in Tottenham. We can all help these ideas grow. Wherever and whatever they may be.
4. If anything the pictures in the Watchtower pamphlets are, at times, hilarious. At times.