This week I went to my aunt's funeral. My uncle lives out of state, so I was glad to see he had a huge group of people who were there for him.
My aunt's health had failed in a long and drawn-out process that so often happens with cancer. At the memorial service I was glad to hear that some of the people there -- people from my aunt and uncle's Bible study group -- had been able to come over and sit with my aunt while my uncle ran errands when she had become too weak to take care of herself. After her death, they had helped to pick the outfit my aunt would wear for the viewing; I was glad my uncle didn't have to do that alone. When all the relatives from out-of-town came for the viewing -- and all the people who loved my aunt came for the viewing -- there was a remarkably large group of people there. At the funeral home on the night of the viewing, their church Bible study group coordinated and brought enough food for everyone to have a meal, which was no small thing given the number of people. The next day after the funeral service, again the church Bible study group coordinated and brought enough food for everyone to have a meal.
The whole time I was impressed by their kindness, their gentleness, their thoughtfulness. They went out of their way to include me and make me feel welcome. They shared one good story after another about my aunt. I never lacked for someone there for me, and neither did my daughter, even though the majority of them had never met us before. And coming back home, I didn't doubt for a minute that they would be there for my uncle -- because they were already there for him, unasked, and had been there for him all along.
And I get back home and the message boards and propaganda publications with the militant atheists are all the same: Christians are dangerous and imbalanced and vicious; raising your children that way is abusive; religious people are a threat to civilization and decency everywhere. And all I could think is, "What the blazes is wrong with you people?" How can you heap that much nastiness and abuse on some of the kindest people on the planet? Or have you seriously never met religious people in real life, and are forming your opinions mainly based on prejudice and propaganda? Make no mistake, the people who behave the way these people did are the real and devoted followers of Jesus Christ. And if someone can look at those good, kind, down-to-earth people who have devoted their lives to going out of their way to help others, and think they're warped and malicious and dangerous, then what the blazes is wrong with this picture?