Recently, a colleague of mine was so excited because her son was turning six. She posted his picture on social media and wrote how it all made her happy to be alive and experiencing the moment with the most important person in her life. The next day she gathered us at the office to share sweet slices of the birthday cake. I told her she looked different. It must have been the immeasurable joy of seeing life from her own body walk and light up the world.
Every mother – save for the few who abandon their babies – feels the same about her child. It is a gift that brings her so much joy that only she alone understands. This experience has led me to contemplate about the author of all life. The one who made us all and the mother and father of all creation! Christians and many other religions believe that God made heaven and earth and human beings were created by this supernatural, all knowing, all able being. I try to imagine how God must love the sight of each one of his children. He made us in his own image, just as a child grows to resemble his or her parents. We are in the likeness of God. And his love for us is more than that of a mother to her children – imagine!
Now, I imagine the six-year-old boy I mentioned above going to school, living under his mother’s roof and growing up to become a respected member of society. But then, one day he is asked by a TV journalist how he has gotten far in his life, career and the like, and he tells the journalist that it was all his effort. He goes ahead to say his mother cannot be said to have played any role in his upbringing since she was unable to provide for him like other parents did for their children. He goes on to say that his biological mother probably never brought him up since a true mother cannot allow her child to go hungry, catch a cold or grow up in a poor neighbourhood, as he did.
How would his mother feel after watching that clip on TV? Would she call her neighbours in jubilation telling them to “watch my son on television”? Recently, the media carried a story about atheists in Kenya. This is a group of men and women who have come to the conclusion that there is no God. They say the Christian God, who is said to be all knowing; powerful, and loving is only a figment of our imagination. If such an all-knowing God exists, they argue, he must have known terrorists were planning to attack Westgate; worse, being all-powerful, he failed to stop them. A God who has prior knowledge of such an attack and is able to stop it but does not stop it cannot be said to be loving. And if such a God existed, he would stop evil out of his power and love. But since evil persists in spite, it can only be concluded that such an all-powerful, all-knowing and all-loving being, does not exist.
Because there is evil in the world, atheists conclude that there is no God. They also argue that everything that exists must be scientifically verifiable. It has to be seen, smelled, touched or heard. No one has yet seen God let alone touched him. Scientists have located so many galaxies but none has found God’s dwelling. Therefore, the atheists argue, God does not exist.
Funny thing is that atheists believe without scientific proof that there will be tomorrow, for instance. They plan about the future even though no scientist has proof that tomorrow must come. Also, they believe there is no God even though no scientist has conclusively proven that God cannot exist. I decided long ago never to try and convince an atheist about what I believe. I instead dedicate to them the local song by Mwenyehaki and Piston – Wanajua ni kulenga tu (they know but they just ignore).
As for you, who are believers, hold tightly to your faith. Do not argue about understanding God because you even do not understand yourself completely. You don’t even know exactly how much blood you have to begin to pretend that you can fully understand God. Blessed are you who believe without seeing. Be like little children; have uncomplicated faith like the young ones, for the kingdom of God belongs to such. Tragedy is to die believing there is no God, only to find yourself standing before Him once you leave this world.
By Christopher Maina
Published in June 2014