Thursday, 10 November 2011

Mortality and beliefs

Recently one of our pet cats lost the use of her back legs all of a sudden. She was 18 years old. We paid a visit to the vet and, as we expected, there was no treatment that he could offer other than to put her to sleep.

The incident raised all kinds of thoughts and feelings.

Sooty was Katie’s (my younger daughter’s) pet. Katie came home so that she could be at the vets … to be able to say goodbye.

I so much wanted to be able to make things better.

The decision to allow the vet to inject the lethal dose of chemicals wasn’t easy to make … even in a situation when no kinder alternative seemed to exist.

She lays half paralysed

Yet able to warble in her own special way

At the touch of a hand or a whisper

Gentle caresses and words of comfort

As the needle delivers its payload

Ultimately helpless

We are all slaves of time

Events like this make me wonder about life and death.

Over the years my views on this have changed. From atheist to born again Christian to agnostic to I don’t really know.

Last weekend I was talking with a friend about how once life seemed to include a lot of black and white issues. Rights and wrongs. Whereas now there seem to be many shades of grey. Which reminds me of a song Where do we go from here? that was part of a Christian Musical called Lonesome Stone way back in the early 1970’s.

Last Christmas I read A new kind of Christianity by Brian McLaren at the recommendation of Dani. I was surprised by it … offering a possibility of some kind of a return to some kind of a belief when I’d thought that there had been no way back.

I’ve not made much progress on that front up to now, but I’m thinking about it still.

In moving from a position of atheism to being born again I was influenced heavily by Christians that I met at university who were connected with The Navigators. There was a great deal that was good about the experience.

More recently I’ve found the concept of belief in God to be a whole lot harder. The reasons for this are mixed. They include gender, sexuality and, I guess, rationalism.

As I’ve been able to accept and be happy with my own feelings of mixed gender I’ve not really revisited the beliefs that I once held.

And so … perhaps now I will.

There are a lot of different approaches that I could take.

For now I think it will be similar, in some ways, to the approach that was recommended to me back in the 1970’s … a look at the gospels in the New Testament of the Bible. Some of the things that Brian McLaren says in his book fit into this approach as well … he suggests that the way to understand the Bible is to start with Jesus … the Gospels … rather than attempting to understand Jesus and the Gospels by reading the rest of the Bible first.

But, there will also be significant differences.

I’ll be looking at it from a different angle … with a different set of life experiences and different expectations.

My views on gender and sexuality are different than they used to be. I know that will affect how I interpret and understand things.

In a way it will be a backslidden Tranny perspective on what it all says. And to some people maybe that makes the whole exercise futile and meaningless.

But as a backslidden Tranny I’m hoping that it will mean something to me.

I don’t know where it will lead me … closer or further away from a belief in God.

But it’s something I feel that I need to do.

If you’re reading this I’d value your comments, thoughts and feelings … from whatever perspective you make them … so please comment.

Tomorrow … or soon after … I’ll begin reading the gospel of Matthew.

1 comment:

Pretty Sissy Dani said...

I'm so glad my recommendation has been helpful to you, Andrea. Good luck with your continued explorations....