Years ago, when I was working as a caseworker in a public welfare program, a lady who was a client thanked me for being a Christian. I shook my head, but I was happy to have helped her. It was my job.
The difference between then and now is that I truly am a Christian now. Oh, I grew up going to church and Sunday School, but I wasn’t sure what I believed. Maybe I just thought I knew more than I did. And I drifted away from my childhood faith. But about 39 years ago, I was called (I believe) to be a Christian.
My objective in writing this isn’t to change what anyone believes. I think we have to reconcile that in our beliefs and values. And that’s not the whole story.
The years in my youth I attended church weren’t lost. I was uncertain about what I believed, but I basically accepted a system of ethics, and I think I always believed in a higher power. Today I would call that higher power God, and I would say his son, our Savior, was Jesus Christ.
Many good people don’t believe in God, but they are still ethical and honest. I respect them for that. They have values, not necessarily based on anything spiritual. Many other people are confused about what they believe or don’t believe.
What changed my mind? In large part, it was the ac- tions of people guided by their beliefs. We see it in how they think and how they act and what they stand for and how they talk.
There was a time I wouldn’t have been able to write this essay or one like it. Had I tried, I would have considered myself a hypocrite. But I believe in my heart that something in most of us directs us to be merciful and helpful and loving, whether we can identify its source or not. I can’t call myself perfect, because I am as far from perfect as a man can be. But something leads me to be a better person than I have to be or than I was before I was called. What is my message as I write this? It’s that we can all be good. I think the good in me comes from above.
Let’s all let our good shine through!
WARREN DOMKE is a columnist for the Pleasanton Express.