Last October, when my mom went all rock star on the conservative Virginian relatives, I found a folded up piece of lined notebook paper in my Granny's house.
Written on the outside fold, in my Granny's handwriting, were the words "My religious beliefs."
I read the note and shared it with my mother, my uncle, and my Aunts.
To me, reading it felt like a kind of gift.
My grandmother didn't keep a diary, not one that I know of anyway.
This note, her musing on faith, made me feel connected to her again...
[Which is, of course, what I want most of all.]
I typed up her note to capture it here for... I don't know what... for later... or maybe for always... something like that, anyway.
My grandmother was born in 1929 and these are her words.
My religious beliefs
Ann Meeler, 1929 - 2007
Do you believe in God?
No, not in the traditional, old man in heaven - a vindictive old man in a nightgown.
God was created by man in HIS own image - not the other way around - he's evolved but of man's need and we've transferred our human conditions and limitations to Him.
How can I believe or not believe in something that can't be defined?
But I do believe there is a finite reality of some sort - there is an ultimate of something - but I certainly find it's beyond ANY man's ability to comprehend.
Something that has no relation to what we call religion?
Yes, if by religion you mean a system of reward and punishment.
I (Ann) feel that more blood has been shed because of various creeds than anything else at all.
[Granny noted four Bible verses and I have added the text.]
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not
I believe, above everything else, in a just God.
I believe that at the end of our lives, or perhaps before, each of us will be dealt with justly.
I believe that the Holy Bible is God's law, but I believe that God's law may be written in other books -- in the Talmud -- or the Koran and in others.
I believe that God's law is also written in the stars and the stones of the Earth and in the hearts of men.
I believe that God gave each of us a mind and that he expects us to use it.
I believe that each human being has a right to interpret scriptures according to his own conscience but that he should expect to be judged on his interpretation.
I believe that God expects us to question each of the teachings of the Bible and to decide for ourselves how they apply to us.
Too many people that say they believe the Bible exactly as it's written - let's call them fundamentalists - but I find they are, each and every one, awfully particular about what passages they select!