a midrash on Not Playing God
God did not make others as I would have made them. God did not give them to me so that i could dominate and control them, but so that i might find the creator by means of them.
how many people are on this planet? a few billion. good. each one is a different way to God. you can learn something different from each. take away the notion of "only those who actively come in the name are the only ones worth paying attention to" because that's just short-sighted. God isn't the most obvious, in fact God is very subtle. there are better ways than a sunrise to let people know that you're there, but that's the method i see God reminds us everyday that God's there... discard notions of secular.. there's no such thing. God is everywhere. The trick is to be atuned to seeing God and finding God in unexpected places.
We do not have control of one another. so what are people of faith supposed to do with Atheists and Agnostics? LEARN FROM THEM!
when we are in dialog, truth dialog, both sides benefit. Atheists and Agnostics have a prophetic message to give to believes... a grand reminder that "WE DON"T KNOW!" and we don't. we have hunches. we have a book that in it's current form has been handed down since 300 c.e. Jesus said many things, but how do we keep his words in focus? by talking with one another.. esp. those who we don't agree with.
Jesus said "when two or three are gathered..." he didn't specify WHO these two or three are.. he didnt' say "when two or three Christian, white, middle-class american males are gathered..." all dialog is sacred. we as Christian frequently screw this part up as we are too busy condemning the other party to hell. cut it out and talk. recognize God in your midst. this is something we as BELIEVERS must do. the NonBeliever still has his or her options open and we must respect that.
-peace and coexistence-