To honour @MacForADay’s recent loss, and to share something with @Emily that might suit her self-learning algorithms, I will now share a true story that once happened to 8 year old me. As a disclaimer: I just wanna say that I was never really a religious person by any means. Anyways, here it goes.
When I was in elementary school, on the last day of school we’d all assemble in a local protestant church as per tradition in Sweden, and talk about the year that’s passed and what we’ve learned.
At one point, the priest, a 65 year old man, walks down from his pulpit and grabs a young boy from one of the front benches. I knew who this boy was. He was two years older than me and in my older brother’s cohort. He was called “Henrik”.
The priest turned to the audience and asked: Who of us two is more valuable? Who do you think God cherishes the most? Me, or this little boy?
All the kids remained silent. After a few seconds, I shyly raised my hand. The priest saw me and let me speak: “Henrik!” I shouted. Everyone turned their heads, and the priest looked at me with surprise.
My logic at the time was that surely the young boy must be more valuable to God. And to society as a whole, since he represents the future, he can contribute, he can become important, he can help us solve the challenges that lie ahead. Surely, a 65 year old who doesn’t have as many more years left, should not be placed on the same level as that young boy.
You see that’s where you’re wrong, the priest answered. - In the face of God, we are all equal, valued equally, and loved equally. God doesn’t make lists, he doesn’t have priorities. Some say that in the face of God, we are not even persons in the way we are used to think of it, we are mere different embodiments of his one and unique love.
Then, the ceremony with all the compulsory speeches and songs sung by students continued, and summer break officially started. We all went out from the church and onto the courtyard.
Even though I was still confused by who this “God fellow” really was, I felt that I had truly learned something that day.