Is God Punishing Us For Our Collective Sins?
World without end?
After completing another brisk walk, and right after an early morning hunt for basic amenities like water and toilet paper, that took way too long to complete, I was challenged to a verbal duel by my mother, who couldn’t wait to share the latest viral gem from her WhatsApp group.
Being in close proximity to your parents will unearth cringe-worthy moments that you hoped would never surface after dodging those bullets back when you were yearning for adulthood.
This unexpected arrangement is made possible by the fact that my mother and father are “expendable” boomers, based on the relentless updates from the media that clarifies how the elderly must be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of the more durable generation.
As the eldest child and only daughter, who hasn’t yet created her own nuclear family, I have the pleasure of spending uninterrupted time with my vulnerable parents, in an effort to drastically reduce the risk of the worst case scenario.
So far it hasn’t been an unbearable experience, although there are heated episodes like the recent exchange between my mother and I, that force me to mentally note why stopping by the wine store after picking up the essentials later in the day is mandatory.
The discussion centered around the staunch belief system of fellow Christians of Nigerian descent, that allocates the deadly global pandemic to the heightened spiritual warfare that is destined to revolutionize communication skills with the Lord our God, who is evidently at His wit’s end.
According to passionate believers of the word, COVID-19 is the highly-anticipated wake-up call that doesn’t discriminate, which makes it that more formidable in terms of how this equalizer signals how we are all the same in the eyes of God.
White evangelicals who worship Donald Trump as president, radically take things even further by declaring that this unprecedented tormentor is as a result of the demonic activities of members of the LGBTQ community, but what else is new?
That redundant playbook is in desperate need of revisions because you can’t continue to blame oppressed communities indefinitely, when the secret has been revealed about who the real culprits are.
My mother shared her over-shared titbit with a bit of amusement, but when I complied with her energy and burst out laughing, she swiftly got serious and questioned my faith.
Since I was reared in a household that demanded regular church attendance on Sundays, in addition to weekly fellowships, I was wise enough to refrain from falling for the trap of being open and honest to someone who would not receive it well.
The truth is that my faith has never wavered. But the way I express it has undergone a series of updates to reflect my evolving disposition when it comes to weaning myself off of formulaic and inflexible modes of worship.
I have been able to blend extracts of Christianity, Buddhism and basic common sense into a personalized concoction that fuels my morning and daytime meditation in ways that suit my mental capacity.
For me, the presence of a supreme being or higher power isn’t a far-fetched notion, but I’m not carried away by the ideology of a heaven and hell or the fantastical reunion with loved ones who have passed away.
There’s no burning pit of fire waiting for those who didn’t live up to the requirements of perfection or abstinence from whatever devious evangelicals draft up. And the floating palace in the sky with enough occupancy for angelic souls who pledged their live to Christ is also a sham.
But my mother subscribes to the teachings I discarded years ago, and out of respect for her wellbeing, I choose not to confess my sins as a defector from all that she knows to be true.
That’s until she tries to sell the plot of how God is resorting to the ancient tactics of disciplinary measures, that recall the violent days of Noah’s Ark, when the mighty flood that destroyed the old world of heathens, to make way for the newer version with worthy residents, was implemented as the everlasting threatening weapon.
I couldn’t help but downplay the audacity of a narrative that satisfies those who crave the validation, because of how it retains their self-righteousness as “God’s chosen flock,” who are conveniently armed with the falsehood of their superiority, and how it endorses the ungodly motives directed at populations that are criminally targeted.
My reaction to her bible study caused my mother to inquire about my relationship with the God she introduced me to when I was young enough to accommodate without judgment.
I immediately pulled back and cautiously assured her that I still believe in God, but I have matured to the level of being able to regulate my preferred regimen according to my spiritual palette.
We ended on a hopeful note, but I couldn’t avoid musing over how human nature seems to demand the biblical notations for eventful periods that ignite the cape of theatrics as the companion for the long haul.
Religion is a tricky phenomenon that tends to complicate as a deterrent from what can be easily interpreted without the wrath of God, that involves ridding the world of evil and humbling survivors into believing in a vengeful creator, who ironically created us in His own image.
If Coronavirus is supposed to be the punishment for our collective sins, then maybe the world should end.
Starting over is a start, but does it work?
Only God knows.