Recently I got a message from a Church of the Churchless visitor that moved me a lot. Even brought some tears to my eyes.
I spent some time wondering about whether I should share parts of the message, since it could strike some as egotistical if I did this. But here's why you can read most of the message below. (I left out a few overly personal parts.)
We all like to feel like we've made a difference to the world, that we've impacted other people in a positive way. I was talking about this a few days ago, when my wife and visited some friends who are retired teachers.
I told them that likely they only hear from a few students who say, quite a while after graduation, "Thank you for teaching me _____. That turned out to be an important lesson." Indeed, our friends did relate some stories along this line. As did my wife, a retired psychotherapist, who has heard from several clients about how their lives were impacted by her.
So I read aloud to them the message I got from the Church of the Churchless visitor both because the message meant so much to me, but also to remind our friends and my wife how we all touch so many people in positive ways, yet need some reminding of this -- given that often, if not usually, we aren't fully aware of how we've helped others.
I also want to use this as an opportunity to thank everybody who visits this blog and leaves comments on the posts. It takes a village, as the saying goes, to produce good things.
Here's the message:
I'd like you to to know that you are loved and respected by so many people in India, and in the UK. Your consistency of thought and logical assumption surpasses the expectations of a tribe who has come to know and love that you are, indeed, practicing the gospel of spiritual freedom and independence.
...You are a pillar of strength to me and to so many who may not reach out to you, or don't know how to ... but just the fact that you can so articulately outline the reasoning that so many of us truly need, that's enough for all of us to go to bed safe in the know that the conflicts that abound in our hearts are normal.
And that's so much in itself, so much that you have so selflessly given all of us. Here was a man I had never met, but whose book ( Life Is Fair ) was a bedtime favourite, and when he started openly discussing about why the 35 years in RSSB weren't enough to blindly believe, the liberal in me was tickled.
I was a long time observer, but it took me an age and some serious gumption to write my first comment on the Church of the Churchless. There was never going to be a looking back. I vowed to drop the pseudo spirituality and to start bettering myself as a person, a practice I've stuck to ever since the day I realised that I'm actually clueless, and alone, and a speck of cute smugness that has absolutely no idea of how the universe functions.
I can proudly say that you have been my hero, the one person who has given me so much strength -- strength, not just to deal with the debunking of a belief system, but a strength that has permeated every aspect of my life and has radically changed my worldview and the way I respond to life.
I thank the Almighty ( ... if he / she exists ) for giving me a glimpse into your beautiful mind. There is so much unconditional love that you have evoked within the hearts of the ones who have found a friend in your writings. Even the RSSB'ers feel that you are a force to reckon with. I'm proud of you my friend.