Thursday, February 26, 2009

All That Glitters...

I believe in God. If you have been reading the entries to this blog, you probably noticed all my references to God so that’s a given. But I wasn’t always a believer so to speak. I was raised an atheist by my father. He always told me that god didn’t exist and the concept of god was created to keep men under control. “I am god and you are god”, he would say. He taught me that the Earth wasn’t created but that it came about by chance. I believed all of his philosophy until I was ten. My parents had just finished shopping at “Big R”, a large supermarket (a predecessor of the COSTCO’s and BJ’s) and my mom and I waited on the platform for my father to pull up the car. I looked up at the sky which was a vibrant, aqua-type blue and the full white clouds that floated gently over the blue. It was an ethereal dance. I watched in admiration at this process that is taken for granted by us humans and said to myself, ‘There must be a god’. How could something as amazing and perfect as our atmosphere come about by chance? How could the Earth, so perfect to human life, come about by chance? How could I, so precise in my design come about by chance? From that day on, I believed in God.
I loved to read and I wanted to know what was inside of the much talked about Bible which was said to be from God. My mom bought me a huge brown leathered children’s Bible with illustrations galore. I loved this book. My father saw me delving into it one Saturday and forbid me from reading it again. “If I see you reading this again, I will throw it through the window!” He was a man who carried out his threats so I would hide on the far side of my bedroom underneath the bed by the light of the sun through the window. It sounds like a passage from “Flowers in the Attic”, but it’s true. Both my sister and I would read together.

One Sunday a man and a woman came to our door bringing ‘good news’ about God’s kingdom. They were Jehovah’s Witnesses. I was shocked when my father invited them in. I sat down with my father not knowing where this would go. They spoke a little about Jesus’ teachings and explained how he was sent to Earth to proclaim God’s coming kingdom in the future. To my surprise my father asked questions but I soon found out he was only setting them up to try to catch them in some intellectual trap. He went on to argue with them for over an hour. Debating, really argueing, was one of his past times. He laughed at them, a condescending laugh and tried his darndest to make them look and feel stupid. But the Jehovah's Witnesses continued on the defense, armed with their Bibles and memorized scriptures, they flipped the pages with lightening speed-an onslaught of bullets aimed at my father and his empty reasonings. Then, as time ran away, they started looking at their watches and excused themselves as their other ‘friends’ must be looking for them. They left a book with me called, "Bible Stories for Children" and highlighted a vibrant illustration from the first chapter with Adam and Even and a whole host of animals co-existing. They left me with the thought that I could live forever in a paradise on Earth just like the paradise called Eden that God intended for all humans.

Speeding up two years later, when my sister, brother and I were officially placed with our maternal grandmother, she had not long started studying the Bible with the Jehovah’s Witnesses in her neighborhood. The Presiding Overseer or the main ‘man of the cloth’ in the Kingdom Hall (the Jehovah’s Witness place of worship) and his wife studied with my grandmother and her sister. I will call them Brother and Sister P. Brother and Sister P had an ‘adopted’ daughter (I will go into depth later) who was 9 years older than me. They assigned her to study the Bible with my sister and I. Their wide smiles and overly happy dispositions gave me the creeps at first. Then they gave my sister and I a hope; the hope that we would see our mother again on Paradise on Earth in the near future. They played to the need that my sister and I longed for. Our mother was just killed a couple weeks earlier and this really was ‘good news’ indeed! From this point on, I was hooked. The teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses, which were spoon fed to me everyday, really seemed to fill that fresh gaping whole in my soul. Everything seemed to glitter, until my eyes started to open...steadily.

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