Over the past weeks, I have heard almost the same sentences uttered by a few people. Maybe I am listening more closely or maybe I do annoy people a bit with my insistence on what is religious and what is not.
A few persons, not one or two but a few persons said this to me – All religions also the same. And they gladly identify their religion, which is one which does not believe in God, to mine.
These people are close to me so I don’t want to engage into a discussion how not believing in a god to believing in God is different.
Its better to be civil and let them be the nice persons they are, than to get relationships severed because if I say it wrong, it may turned out that I am claiming my religion is different, and lots of other wrong impressions.
I was a freethinker when I was a young adult. I grew up in a very traditional ancestors worshipping household. So much so that ‘pray’ means a lot of chores like catching a chicken, kill it, pluck its feather, cook, serve and that means a whole dining table with complete cutleries, wine, tea and empty chairs.
I remember when I was a small kid, I would sit underneath the table and see if I can ‘see’ my grandma/grandpa from Hainan island ‘come’ to eat the meals my mother cooked.
Then, my father died. And my mother no longer has the money or the will to serve the ancestors. So, the prayers sort of faded to a tiny altar. No chicken, no duck? Cos we couldn’t afford so we offered duck egg instead. (its sort of like offering the animals on land, in the sea and in the air)
Then, it further reduced to only Ching Ming and other ‘feast’ like CNY and etc.
So, there is no god in me. I live a free thinker life. I didn’t commit any big sins like killing people or covet other people’s husband LOL so, I suppose it was pretty ok for me.
After that, when I began to have children of my own, I found that sometimes, motherhood can get so helpless, you just gotta find some divine being to hang on to. And through some supernatural stuffs, I ended up seeking a medium and worship Guan Yin.
Again, life was good. And on top of Guan Yin, out of filial piety, I kept my mother-in-law, father-in-law altar in my home in Sungai Ara. Then, another tragedy struck.
I had a son, dying and the doctor told me to pray. I remember he told me so politely and so general one day when we were in HDU. He asked me if I have a religion and I told him yes.
And I did pray. And nothing change. I seek more mediums. Pay more angpows. And then, every kind of gods I began to seek. Even on Thaipusam, I contemplated taking the kavadi if I have to. But I had to care for my son so I couldn’t make it.
At one time, in Lam Wah Ee HDU, a Muslim family had a son in coma. And even that, I thought maybe I could convert if that means saving my son because their child recovered from the coma. (but no one berdakwah to me 🙂 )
Strangely, now I looked back, Christianity was the last option. After all the major religions and faiths, Christianity was my last option. The best was no one preach to me, I found it myself, my own way.
I guess the path to Christianity has been laid out for me in such a way that it takes God’s own time, own way to find it. And when I find it, I am freed of all the boundaries, limitations, chains and doubts.
Christianity offers me a complete manual of dealing with life. It comforts me that all the difficulties are part of life. It doesn’t promise me promises made by man. It just gives me the peace in the heart to deal with it.
I have to say this – no, your idea of a religion is not the same as my belief in the One True God. I will not argue but will respect how you want to believe. I wont question because I have been there, done that, and hence, my conviction is clear.
But it is sometimes kind of ‘sayang’ (wasted) that those who already have Christ did not see it that way. Some hide their Christ. Today, Fr Phillip’s homily struck me – Don’t be a ‘privatised Christian’. So many are, they are afraid of losing popularity, afraid of not being cool if people know they are Christians.
Oh well, maybe this post may rubs some feathers. But I guess I am so loud-mouth about my Christ, no one do not know I am one. I have been sent to the police station twice for questioning for hours just because of my Christian thoughts. That’s pretty cool to me, and if I have to do it again and again, I will just do it.
Because I am a free person. Christ has freed me, and those who believe.