I know some of you are wondering why an Atheist is writing about Jesus, what is this blasphemous person doing? My fellow atheist might be waiting for the dirty limerick to follow. I’ve been writing a great deal recently in blogs and in replies to other blogs wondering why we can’t just accept each other? I know it would be difficult since, at times, we are polar opposites. This is about self realization…
Years ago I wanted to be a writer. I wrote poems and short stories, not anything professionally, just for my own bemusement. I have to admit, I am very creative but writing and not making spelling, punctuation mistakes and sentence structure was not my forte. I started submitting my poems for publication and about six months later I found one of my poems was going to be published in a book of poetry, I was excited! In fact, when the time came, I ordered two books of my own!
A few months later, I received the books and was full of excitement. Sure enough, on page 112, there was my poem with 20 others on the same page. I also noticed the book did not have an ISBN number and I suspected the only people who would ever see the book was the countless others who also submitted their own poetry. BUT it was a start, this was a big day and I was excited about it.
I showed my Mother. She went through all the paper work that came with the book and found a form where she could submit her “works” and unbeknownst to me, she submitted a poem too. I kind of scoffed after she told me. “I’m not sure they are going to publish her Jesus ice cream poem”, I thought to myself but not too long after she received a letter informing her and congratulations that her submission was accepted.
Being published was a proud moment for me, it was a special moment, not everyone gets published, right? But along with the sheer amount of poems they published, the fact I would never see this in a real book store and not likely see this book of poems on top of someones coffee table, turned out to be a downer. The fact that my mom submitted something, got published as well, all that perceived accomplishment disappeared.
…and it wasn’t just the accomplishment. For years I was an undercover atheist! For years I had an inner conflict. I think atheists who grew up in a religious household understand. As early as you remember, religion may have been taught to you. At some point you just question everything and that comes with a turning point, the turning point where you just reject those teachings. The salt on the wound was, all my mothers poetry had to do with Jesus or God or Religion. UUuuugggghhhh! No flowers, trees and birds singing… nothing “normal” like that.
My mother died in 2002. I actually can’t believe it’s been 14 years, seems like yesterday. The story of the book of poetry a long distant memory… UNTIL… I think it was right around Christmas, my sister must have kept my mothers writing all these years. She took nine different poems, poetry and thoughts of my mothers, printed, placed in a comb bound booklet and as far as I know send it to everyone in the family. A nice presentation indeed.
…but, I’m not religious.
…and I really didn’t want to relive the past.
…and I noticed the Jesus-Ice Cream poem.
…so I just set it aside.
I don’t know how you throw something like that out. So I left it on my book case. The book case I have been slowly collecting books on Atheism, Buddhism, world religions and various theistic topics.
…and it sat
…and it sat.
How long have I been telling people that we need to accept one another for who we are? “Why can’t we just accept one another?” has been a mantra of mine. I remember, years ago, dating a girl who was atheist and defending her against comments made by a friend of mine who was Catholic but in my years of atheism, have I ever came to the defense of the Christian? I try to, I try to be fair, to be balanced but have I?
While looking through my books yesterday, I came across that collection of poetry my sister send. Have I been fair? Have I been accepting of others beliefs? Have I come to the defense of my mothers beliefs? No, I guess I really haven’t.
While I don’t share your beliefs, Mom, they belong to you and you have every right to them….
A Special Visitor
If Jesus came to my house, I’d laugh and sing with joy!
We would play my favorite games and share my favorite toy.
We would eat the very best! Chicken tenders and French fries-?
Some juice-and maybe ice cream- would be a nice surprise!
We would watch my favorite TV shows; go places I like best,
And then it would be time for us to take a little rest.
Then I would whisper, “Thank You, for all You give to me.”
“Thank You for my Mom and Dad. They are the best;
for brothers-sisters-cousins-aunts and uncles-Grandparents too
For air and water, flowers, food, for friends and all the rest, Whew!”
He would smile and hold me and I would feel a glow.
He would say, “I’m always near, no matter where you go.”
“I will hear each prayer you whisper, in the night and in the day”
“I will always love you!” “I am here to stay!”
(Picture Credit…. not sure who to give it to. The link on the picture brings me to:
but not sure it is his? Will see if I can officially track down who to give credit to. )