Last night wasn’t much better for me with the grinning but the discussion was nothing like the normal talkbacks in my past. Not once did someone ask us about our lines – which is good. We have been getting them all out but telling folks that’s been an issue with us isn’t always a good way to start things. No, last night’s discussion was about the play and the question of Faith.
Now, Religion is always one of those topics I try to stay away from. I was raised by an Atheist with very clear opinions on ‘believing in invisible beings.” She didn’t drill this into our heads as kids. She didn’t ever say, “This is what I think so you should think the same.” She has let us both explore whatever it is we want to believe and whomever it is we want to believe in.
That’s not to say Mom can’t argue a flea off the back of a dog, just that she didn’t try to with us. So Faith, Religion, God have all been topics that require a quick change in conversation in my house, in my life, preferably to a funny story involving someone falling down.
I expected last night to be a form of fighting – with polite words, hushed responses and solid walls of Right and Wrong.
Led by a former professor, responses about Faith from the Rabbi and the Pastor and a few of the audience were fascinating. And I learned.
I’m not going to recap what was said. It would just end up convoluted here on the page, garbled by my impressions and my imperfect memory. Suffice to say, the questions of Faith, the myths in Religion, the mystical being that folks believe is their God, and the journey with Faith taken by our characters were all touched on lightly and courteously. The participants were respectful and passionate and funny. I was, of course, awkward, smiley and uncomfortable. I made a few jokes that fell flat and I babbled and babbled and babbled but I learned. And I came away from the night with a new understanding of people and Faith.
Now if everyone in the world, in their own families even, could sit and listen and share and discuss their Faith and beliefs the way we did last night, this world would be a better place. I’d even be willing to tell a few awkward stories to help things along.
The Rabbi shared a wonderful phrase with me. ‘A miracle is anything that happens at a time that is needed.’ In a world where people are killing for no reason or for stupid reasons or for righteous reasons, we could really use a miracle. I’m pretty sure even Mom can get behind that.