Sunday, June 11, 2006
Life With God
As I’ve struggled recently in thinking about how messed up all of us are I’ve been drawn back again to my favourite writer and a paragraph that resonates more powerfully with me than any in any other novel I have read.
I don’t pretend to know where Douglas Coupland stands on Christianity, but he has an ability to explain our postmodern predicament in words. Life After God is a collection of short stories set around a theme of a generation raised without God. This theme is set in the introductary line-
"YOU ARE THE FIRST GENERATION RAISED WITHOUT RELIGION”
The stories are meant to show how the lack of God affects the characters and how they try to understand concepts such as death, love and meaning in everyday life from the secular world around them. These characters appear to be stuck with the TV on mute, drifting through relationships and having no insight into what is going on in the world or in themselves.
In the end Coupland comes to this conclusion, one that I have come back to many times:
“My secret is that I need God- that I am sick and can no longer make it alone. I need God to help me give, because I no longer seem to be capable of giving; to help me be kind, as I no longer seem capable of kindness; to help me love, as I seem beyond being able to love.”