In March this year I had the privilege and pleasure to meet Dr Jordan Peterson. (I highly recommend any of Doctor Peterson’s Youtube lectures, or his interviews or books. His latest – 12 Rules for Life – Antidote to Chaos – is a world wide best seller, but perhaps more importantly has something to help almost everybody in their day to day lives. GC Peterson related articles here, here and here).
Now in our pre-lecture meeting with Dr Peterson in Brisbane on the 16th of March, I met a lovely husband and wife, Robert and Maja that had travelled from Sydney to Brisbane that afternoon to see Dr Peterson and his lecture. (This is an hour flight – 900km. They came to Brisbane because Dr Peterson’s Sydney lecture was sold out).
Robert and Maja, Orthodox Christians of Macedonia descent, had experienced personal and historic religious persecution. Robert is an impressive fellow – he is a maths tutor, a black belt in Brazilian Jujitsu and owner of martial arts studio. The ten of us were sitting in chairs in a circle with Dr Peterson.
Maja explained to all she had a 9 year old daughter and that her daughter has asked “Where is God?”.
I have been watching a talk from Jennifer Fulwiler about her conversion from atheist to Catholicism. The catalyst for her seeking answers and ultimately finding faith started with the birth of her son.
There is something fundamental about Maternal love – It is a pure love a mother has for their children.
Maja, travelled interstate – seeking the advice of someone who specialised in deep philosophical questions about religion and God – to ask a question for her daughter.
Jennifer, atheist for over 25 years, opened her mind and heart and started on a Journey that found God for her new born son.
There is no doubt the blessed virgin Mary loved her son too. Mary accepted a heavy burden of raising a human son that she knew would one day become our saviour and also die in doing so.
There is something special and reverent in the Christian view on women and mothers. This can be seen in this beautiful painting GIOTTO di Bondone (coronation of the Mother of God). Mary bows to the Lord Christ, while simultaneously Jesus is reverently blessing Mary his mother and Queen of the Kingdom.
Maja had carefully drafted her question – reading from the piece of paper in her hands. She looked steadily at Doctor Peterson after reading her question. The 10 of us were sitting only a few feet from Doctor Peterson. We looked from Maja and back to Jordan – he looked up the way he does when he contemplates and seeks a suitable answer, deeply thought out, to the many questions his followers seem to flood him with.
It was only a few moments, but Maja, and in fact all in the room, wanted to hear his answer.
His answer was simple and beautiful. Dr Peterson said: “Tell her God is in her. Tell her if and when there are moments she hears a little voice in her head that asks if she is doing the right thing, that that is God speaking to her and guiding her.”
He contemplated a few more moments and added “Yes, I think that should suffice for now.”
I have an 11 year old daughter, and I knew this was the perfect response. Dr Peterson’s belief is that, according to the bible, we each have some divinity in us, a piece of God. So his answer was both fully truthful in what Peterson believes, what the bible says and what believe we all felt – but it also would give Maja’s daughter what she needed right now at several levels. God is there for her, with her. God wants her to be good, and God is as real as the voice she hears and is guiding her.
Thank you Maja for sharing this question. Thank you Dr Peterson your answer – indeed many answers to the many questions.
If there isn’t a God, then surely this is how a God should behave – talking to each of us, watching and guiding each of us. If there is a God – well then – thank you for everything.
Gratitude with Gravitas ~ A Seriously Good attitude.