Saturday, December 02, 2006

The gift is returned to the sender

Religion must be an amazing thing; true faith I mean.

Sitting in a church, staring up at Saint Someone in the stained glass windows, I pondered how truly fabulous, how reassuring and comforting rock solid faith must be. I envy it.

As grown men quietly brushed away stray tears and hankerchiefs were gripped in worried hands, surely true faith would wipe away all this sorrow? After all, how can one grieve if one knows that those who have died have finally moved on to the most joyous, peaceful, beautiful place we can imagine?

You can dip into pretty much any faith or formalised religion and find succour, find something worth listening to, something to take away, stroke, rub against your soft cheek.

"The gift is returned to the giver" - that's what I heard as I looked at Saint Someone in her stained glass prison. God made us and, when the time is right and we've done what he needed, he takes us back. An interesting concept no?

At the time I was really blown away; I mean, it's kind of beautiful. After all, the gift of life is a little more special than eau de toilette or a pair of thongs and a $10 note that a grown man recently told me he got for his 39th birthday.

Since then, however, I have thought some more. Taking the gift back? Hmmm, some might say it's a kind of miserable thing to do. Others might say it's never a gift in the true sense, it's more of a loan!


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