Monday, May 21, 2012

Does God Exist?

Does God exist?

You might think it strange, or philosophical, or even blasphemous—this question that all of us have whispered to ourselves one day, if only in the back of our heads close to where our subconscious lies. Does God exist?

I do have an answer—but my answer is deeply personal, deeply mine. Will it quench your thirst? I don’t know but I will share it. Maybe you’ll see some truth in. Maybe you’ll find in it something that is not in books of scriptures. And maybe it’ll reach a secret part of your soul—the part the affirmations of scholars could never find.

A while back a close friend of mine asked me, “Does God exist?”  I looked at him and smiled wondering whether I should fall into this trap.

In Egypt, you are not allowed to ask such questions, although everyone does— but dares not admit it.

And in Canada, to ask that question was to invite an unwelcome rhetoric of evolutionary and scientific talk that is grounded in the here and now and nothing beyond.

But my answer, my deep personal answer, is not as glamorous or as thorough as the eloquent rhetoric you would get from either camp. So I hesitated, not wanting to sound like a sentimental fool. But the look of genuine openness in my friend’s eyes compelled me, almost begged me, to answer.

“Yes, he does,” I said as casually as I could. “I am sure he does.”

“Why?” He said with a sigh expecting a lecture on how everything is by design and how the stunningly accurate engineering marvels of the universe point to the existence of an intelligent deity.
He was about to be disappointed.

“Because I feel him in my heart. I know he exists. And if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be alive today.” My friend was dumbfounded. My answer was not clever, was not witty, was not eloquent, but it was true. It was my answer as I have come to develop it over the years.
There were far too many dark corners in my life…far too many calamities…far too many disappointments to navigate on my own. If it weren’t for God’s grace, I would not have made it.
I remember that when I was a child, alone in my bed at night, I’d cry and cry and cry for hours on end. Nothing would stop the pain and the tears…except the knowledge, the peace I found inside my heart because God is here. God hears me. And God one day will take me home.

I was unloved as a child; abandoned by parents that didn’t want me. A mother who can’t give love because she has never known it herself and a father who equated parental responsibility solely with financial support. It was in God’s love that I found peace and hope.

Maybe you are persuaded to tell me that it was a little girl’s illusion. That God was nothing but a Santa Claus figure or a Fairy Godmother who kept a miserable kid hopeful.

I tell you that this little kid could not—would not—have made it through the dark times if God did not exist. He manifested himself to me, not just in my heart, but also in all the people who loved, protected, and nurtured me along the way. He protected me from my rashness and my naivety and  my self-destructive urge. He solved problems I never know could be solved. He worked out messes I saw no way out of. And in my bleakest darkest hour, it is my faith in him that was the glimmer of hope burning that kept me going.

This is how I know God exists.
And you... what is your personal answer to "Does God exist?"