“To me, it is not about hell and heaven, but ways to act and live on the planet, harmoniously with other people and still survive. It led me to find value in other things, other than the things I thought were valuable.”
I used to be the guy who said Jesus pretended and Mohamad was a thief. Talking ill of religion, and strongly against it. After my wife died, I started asking, ‘Why? Why? Why?’ A lot of it was self-pity and wanting to feel loved by someone. There was discovery getting to it this way, but there was also a need to believe again. I started researching religions, from Sumerian to Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism. Trying to understand why people believe, trying to find faith, but failing. I found that Buddhism isn’t a religion, it is a mode of learning, being a student. That led me into the theology side of religion, and I found Christianity.
To me, it is not about hell and heaven, but ways to act and live on the planet, harmoniously with other people and still survive. It led me to find value in other things, other than the things I thought were valuable. That is when I decided I was not going to quest for things and went on the road. Whatever God puts in front of me, that’s what I’m supposed to have. In the gospel, Jesus tells his apostles to get rid of everything they own and go out, take nothing with you, no staff, no water or bread. Go into a town, and if they accept you, stay in that place, bless them and teach them about love.
Jesus didn’t tell the apostles to teach about him, he told them to teach how to love thy neighbor. For example, take the story about the widow who gave her last coin. She gave more than the man who gave a hundred coins. She gave everything. Why? Because she knows she is going to get it back, and she knows that in order to receive something your hand has to be empty. I have been learning these ideas, still trying to grasp what they mean.
I don’t attend church. I never encountered hostility, and I can always get help from a church if I needed it, but I tend not to. In my situation, people tend to freak out, ‘Oh my God, you are homeless?! Where do you eat? Where do you sleep?’ It becomes all about that, and when it is the center of attention between me and somebody else, it sours the relationship. While they say there is no judgment, there tends to be, and I just want to listen to a nice sermon, or do some singing. Besides, God is not in there, he is right here, between you and me, right now.
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