Day 74

Spent most of today with Elsbeth, sitting in her lounge chatting, reading, staring out the window while she pottered about.

The inevitable subject of death came up and my readiness for it. My feelings change from day to day – after a few positive, resolute days I find myself overcome with feelings of melancholy. Am I ready to go? No, I like being me, and I don't want to expire, be forgotten, cease to exist.

We talked about God and Elsbeth asked me what I believed. I don't know. I have some sense that there might be a God, Joe's “God-shaped hole” that needs filling, and that otherwise there are some difficult questions to answer: where do we come from, why do we care, why do we seem to feel there is an absolute right and wrong? There are also difficult questions to answer if you do believe in God: the problems of evil and hell, why are there so many religions, and so on.

So I don't know.

Christianity is the only religion I've had any real encounter with and quite a lot of it makes sense. It seems difficult to deny that Jesus existed in history, but was he who he claimed to be: God? How could someone so obviously wise be so deluded? And if the whole divinity spiel was a later addition then why? Joe used to tell me that the New Testament documents were written within the life times of those who lived then, so its difficult to imagine that a whole divine mythology could be created without being completely rejected by those who knew Jesus, especially given the persecution that resulted if you claimed to be a Christian. There was very little motivation or opportunity so the case against is weak.

But even with all of this I struggle. I struggle rationally to believe in what feels like make believe, like the Easter Bunny.

Elsbeth listened patiently, didn't push anything. She said that her whole church is praying for me.

Dare I hope?