My family recently watched the M. Night Shyamalan film, Signs. The film tells the story of an alien invasion and how one rural family copes with the incursion. Really, though, it's about one man's journey back to his faith after his wife is killed in a horrific car accident. It's about the signs that God gives us to show us that He exists and loves us.
I have seen the film many times and love it more with each viewing. I'm not a knee jerk M. Night hater like the Internet has decided must be the case if you are to be "cool" (whatever the fuck that means). This recent viewing made me think about my nearly 35 year friendship with John Waxey, the all too infrequent poster here at Markadelphia. I met John the first day of school in 7th grade and we have been best friends every since. We talk at least once a week and hang out at his cottage in Wisconsin with our families in the summer. We try to see at least two bands a year live either here or in Madison where he lives.
In addition to being the owner of a private manufacturing firm in Wisconsin, John is also an archaeologist so his views on God are somewhere between atheism and agnosticism. He does not believe in the Christian God nor does he believe that Jesus was the Son of God. He wonders if Jesus ever existed. Yet, he is morally more Christian than most Christians I know. He lives by Jesus' commandment to love one another, treating everyone with more kindness than I certainly have ever done. He is faithfully devoted to his wife of 20 years and their three children. He has never killed anyone, stolen anything or lied in his entire life.
Despite his secular approach to life, I believe God sent him to me for a reason. It was a sign of His love for the people of this earth. Our friendship of over three decades is proof positive that not only His existence but of Christ's core command that we love one another. He usually rolls his eyes when I relate this to him (and I do frequently) and replies by saying that he does try to follow the moral teachings of Jesus but just can't quite believe the spiritual side of it. I remind him that it's all connected and then we invariably have one of our long and most cherished conversations about the meaning of it all.
Isn't it ironic that a sign for me of God's love is an atheist? He does indeed work in mysterious ways!