Dear Rabbi Gellman: About a year ago, I sent you a question about the origins of faith that you very kindly addressed in your column. At that time, I was an agnostic who had been struggling to find faith for quite some time. I thought you might like to know that a lot has changed in the past year. I started attending services at a Methodist church where I was very fortunate to meet three pastors who have given me a warm welcome, and one of whom has spent time talking with me, encouraging me to find my own path to faith through prayer and study. I have now come to a place where faith is growing in me. It is still a fledgling faith, and I don’t know if I will ever become a Christian, but I am sure that there is no going back to being an agnostic. Since you and your column were a crucial step in my journey, I wanted to thank you and let you know what a tremendous difference you are making.
Best regards and many, many thanks, D
Dear D: Let me urge all of you to take the lesson of these kind words into your own lives. Many of you are trying to urge without forcing, cajole without manipulation someone you love to choose a new path or grasp onto a hope that has eluded them so far in their life. Don’t give up. You know my favorite oft-told story from Loren Eiseley’s, “The Star Thrower” about a young man jogging on a beach after a storm who sees an old man throwing starfish back into the ocean. The young man taunts him, ”Old man, there are too many starfish stranded on this beach. You can’t save them all before the sun dries them out. What you are doing just does not matter.” The old man just bent down, threw another starfish into the safety of the waves and said to the young man, “It mattered to that one.”
In this life God has made us all starfish savers. We cannot save them all, but we can bend down and save the next one because it will matter to that one. Please, don’t give up hope in this season of hope.
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Thankful for Squirrels
I fully expected some intense blowback for including squirrels in my list of things I am thankful for that are not often mentioned. I thought the anti-squirrel cadre would surely berate me for including a hated pest in my Thanksgiving thanks list.
From C: Hi there, A little comment is in order regarding squirrels. Your statement ”… because many of them are rabid, they are a real health hazard” is in error. Squirrels and other small animals, although capable of carrying rabies, virtually never do, according to the CDC. Check it out.
Oops! Like all bigotry, squirrel bigotry comes from ignorance.
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