12 May 2011

"God, how did you get invented?"

Six-year-old Lulu Renton came home from school having written a letter,

“To God how did you get invented?
From Lulu o x”.
Dad tells the story of the letter here.

Rev. Bosco Peters of Liturgy writes, "Respect to the parents who, though atheists, do not brush the letter aside, but, instead, post it to a number of theological centres, including Lambeth.

Several people reply, including the Archbishop of Canterbury – whose reply they appreciate the most. Here is Rowan William’s Reply:

Dear Lulu,

Your dad has sent on your letter and asked if I have any answers. It’s a difficult one! But I think God might reply a bit like this –

‘Dear Lulu – Nobody invented me – but lots of people discovered me and were quite surprised. They discovered me when they looked round at the world and thought it was really beautiful or really mysterious and wondered where it came from. They discovered me when they were very very quiet on their own and felt a sort of peace and love they hadn’t expected.

Then they invented ideas about me – some of them sensible and some of them not very sensible. From time to time I sent them some hints – specially in the life of Jesus – to help them get closer to what I’m really like.

But there was nothing and nobody around before me to invent me. Rather like somebody who writes a story in a book, I started making up the story of the world and eventually invented human beings like you who could ask me awkward questions!’

And then he’d send you lots of love and sign off.

I know he doesn’t usually write letters, so I have to do the best I can on his behalf. Lots of love from me too.

+Archbishop Rowan

Lulu has very different ideas to the Archbishop, but she thought Rowan’s idea a good one.

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