Dear Whoever – Thank you

Dear Whoever,

I’m praying to you but I don’t know who you are. My grandparents used to pray to God, but now lots of people say there is no such person and anyone who’s religious is just imagining it. And other people say there is, but not the one that Christians call God, the one who had a son called Jesus. They have other names for their god. Whatever, this is what’s on my mind this week.

girl bw

Not too bad a week on the international horrible things front. New horrible things, anyway. There is always something in the news that you don’t want to see or hear but you do anyway. I suppose that’s how they make sure people are watching their TV news programmes and looking at their websites.

The news people must know something that I don’t. If I was running the BBC or CNN I would be trying to find nice things to tell the world about.

So, the plane crash in Egypt probably was a bomb like everyone thought. At least the victims’ bodies have been flown home now and the families can bury them and get on with their lives. That’s what we did with my Gran a few years ago. It was a bit of a shock when she passed away, and everything was sad and weird for a while, but the feeling passes. I used to go to the cemetery and put flowers on her grave, but after a while I stopped doing that.

Actually, Whoever, I used to stand there looking at her gravestone and talking to her and you. Out loud. I hope you both heard me. I used to put freesias in the little metal vase. Freesias are good for that because for one thing they’re cheap but pretty and smell nice, and for another thing they’re not as delicate as some flowers.

They’re always dead by the time you go back, but I suppose if you put a vase in your back garden the same thing would happen. Cut flowers need to be looked after, like when my Dad buys my Mum some, which he does from time to time.

Nobody’s ever bought me flowers yet, but Mum says there’s plenty of time for that. It’s a funny thing to do, anyway, giving somebody something that isn’t going to last. It’s like chocolates: you eat them and they’re gone, so is that how long their feelings last, the person who gave them to you?

Nothing seems to last, does it? Everybody dies, mobile phones get outdated, laptops start doing funny things because they’re three years old. What used to be your favourite t-shirt gradually loses its colour and the shape goes a bit funny so you get a new one and that’s your favourite then.

black girl

I suppose I’ll just have to get used to it. Anyway, thank you for the fact that when one thing finishes another one comes along. I’ve decided I’m going to be an optimist, because that seems like a better way to do things. Thank you for me and everyone I know not being on that plane. I’m sorry for the people who were, of course, so I hope this doesn’t make me sound selfish.

But thank you for looking after me and I hope my Gran is okay. If she’s with you I’m sure she will be. Those people who don’t believe in you, I wonder what they think happened to their Gran when she died.

 

 

 

Dear Whoever – Mysterious plane crashes

I’m praying to you but I don’t know who you are. My grandparents used to pray to God, but now lots of people say there is no such person and anyone who’s religious is just imagining it. And other people say there is, but not the one that Christians call God, the one who had a son called Jesus. They have other names for their god. Whatever, this is what’s on my mind this week.

plane crash

Mysterious plane crashes. There was another one this week when a Russian plane crashed in Egypt and everyone on board was killed.

Why does this keep happening? Planes crash for no apparent reason and others disappear, never to be seen again. You didn’t hear about it so much a few years ago, so presumably it didn’t happen so much.

And nobody ever seems to come up with a simple explanation. It makes you wonder. I am told that statistically air travel is safer than many other things. People will tell you you’re more likely to get run over by a bus, and they think that’s a clever thing to say.

Well it doesn’t fill me with confidence, because it’s just a version of the whole parents-comforting-children thing, which is very nice but I’m beginning to doubt it. Whatever you’re worried about, your parents will tell you it’s going to be okay, but how do they know? They can’t guarantee anything.

Many people pray about that sort of thing, too. They ask their god to make this or that happen or prevent something. I do it with you, don’t I? And it makes me feel better. And nothing really bad has ever happened to me. But ministers die horrible deaths. Jews are very vocal about religion, but look what Hitler did to them in the Second World War.

I tell you, Whoever, sometimes I think the atheists are right, and we’re on our own down here. I don’t want to think that, and I keep bobbing back up to the surface when I feel I’m sinking, but it’s not easy.

girl

There are so many different interpretations of the Bible and probably the Qu’ran and other books too.

Some people think we are getting close to the time when Jesus will come back to the world and sort everything out. Well I hope he does, because we’re certainly making a mess of things here and it feels like it’s getting out of control.

If there is a god who is devoted to doing good, is there also really a devil determined to poop everything up?

Well, I’m sticking with you, Whoever, because you’re the best chance I’ve got. But it’s difficult to convince other people. So please keep your arms around me and see me through this troubled period on earth. I personally don’t wish anything bad on anyone, so if everyone takes the same attitude, we should be okay, shouldn’t we?