Monday, June 1, 2015

A Tale of Two Babies

“If it can’t be tested and studied and proved, it must not be real.” This is a common mantra of those who choose not to believe in God, or a life beyond this one. It’s true we cannot prove the existence of God empirically, but neither can one disprove His existence. In our material world there is no methodology for quantifying the spiritual.

“There is no evidence,” the atheist declares. “It’s fable, fantasies, foolishness, fiction, fairy tales!” (Notice the convenient use of “f” words?) The non-believer insists what can’t be seen, touched, heard, observed or measured can’t exist. Only things tangible and testable are real, they contend. Thus, we must bow with unquestioning obedience to the scientific method. On the other hand, devout followers of Christ are as certain of His existence as they are of leaves on a tree, the rising and setting sun, or a mother bird hovering over a nest containing her newly hatched babies.

This unborn infant, at the end of its first trimester,
cannot imagine what lies six months hence.
Recently I came across a little allegory that addresses this seeming conundrum, this “faith vs. fact” conflict. I don’t know the original source, so apologies for not giving credit where it’s due, but this little story is worth repeating. You could say it’s “from the mouths of babes”:

In a mother’s womb were two babies. One asked the other, “Do you believe in life after delivery?” The other replied, “Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.”

“Nonsense,” said the first. “There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?” The second answered, “I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths. Maybe we will have other senses that we can’t understand now.”

The first responded, “That is absurd. Walking is impossible. And eating with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition and everything we need. But the umbilical cord is so short. Life after delivery isn’t logical.”
 The second insisted, “Well I think there is something and maybe it’s different than it is here. Maybe we won’t need this physical cord anymore.”

Indignant, the first baby replied, “Nonsense. And moreover, if there is life, then why has no one ever come back from there? Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery there is nothing but darkness and silence and oblivion. It takes us nowhere.”
 "Well, I don’t know about that,” said the second, “but certainly we will meet Mother and she will take care of us.”

To this the first reacted, “Mother? You actually believe in Mother? That’s laughable. If Mother exists, then where is She now?”
 The second said, “She is all around us. We are surrounded by her. We are of Her. It is in Her that we live. Without Her this world would not and could not exist.”

The first womb-mate sniffed, “Well I don’t see Her, so it is only logical to conclude that She doesn’t exist.”
 To which the second replied, “Sometimes, when you’re in silence and you focus and really listen, you can perceive Her presence, and can hear Her loving voice, calling down from above.”

Jesus, nearing the end of His earthly ministry, was interacting with His listeners: "’Do you hear what these children are saying?’ they asked him. ’Yes,’ replied Jesus, ‘have you never read, '’From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise?”’" (Matthew 21:16).

The Scriptures also assure that what the future holds for His followers is something far beyond human imagining. “As it is written, “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived" -- the things God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). The prophet Isaiah added, “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him”  (Isaiah 64:4).

Some might say, “Sorry, but I just can’t see it.” The good news is we don’t have to – but one day we will.

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