by Ateya Stepanovich for Kidspirit's Society and the Individual Issue.
It is a story as old as the world, or maybe even older. A battle from times we don’t even remember, a battle between gods that turned into a war between their pilgrims.
The center of almost every war and every battle are love and hatred, the most powerful feelings. There is one more element that causes war: religion! The conflict is always the same: who is the only God? We try to impose one religion everywhere.
Everyone decides alone what to believe in and which path to travel. All people love their God, no matter if their paths lead through the Bible or Quran, no matter if their God’s name is Buddha or Yahweh. They, the people, will believe in Him and will love Him. This is why imposing religion makes no sense. Nothing good happens forcefully! We keep forgetting the most important part. We think that we are victims, but we’re just fanatics.
How many big moments do we face in our lives? Thousands, hundreds, ten? What about the small ones? Well, they are uncountable! And they are all full of love. The cry of a newborn when taking breath for the first time. The first laugh of a child, which makes her parents’ lives matter. The first snowdrop making its way through the sky. The first kiss of a boy and a girl, ready to “take over the world.” The first dawn, scattering the darkness. Little but big moments, coming from love, bringing love, and in the name of love!
Blinded by our egos, we often turn into narcissists, who love only ourselves. We start to think that we are gods, but we’re just mortals. We may consider ourselves all-powerful, but that doesn’t mean we are. Just the opposite — it makes us pathetic, unable to love, craving attention. We leave behind not only God, but ourselves, too. We send prayers to the mirror without noticing that we are destroying the world. But God will always love us. He can’t just put out the love.
Maybe our faith is not enough, or maybe we’ve forgotten how to love. I think we don’t apply enough emotion, love to be exact, to the things we do. And because God is love, faith is love, too. We either don't use enough, or we've completely forgotten how to use it at all.
There was a time that we were one and the same. God was in us and we were in him. He was proud of our actions not because they were fully righteous, but because we, the people, were brothers and sisters, and siblings share, help each other, and, most importantly, love each other. We believed in God, not because we were sure about His name or face. He has many names and faces. We believed in him because we believed in love.
Faith keeps us moving forward. When we believe, we can find something really, really small that makes us believe even more. And the other way around — if someone doesn’t believe, they won’t see anything. All of us know what it means to love someone, to be afraid of losing them. If God loves us, how would He feel, knowing that His fears are real? Because most of us have lost our faith, and many others are slowly losing it, too. But who actually loses? God or us? Without faith to keep us moving and to give us hope, we’re left frozen in place with our impatience. So what? Science will help us?! It’s a fact that science is developing really fast. But here’s the difference between the machines and expensive pills and the prayers: one of them is free! Not everybody can afford to save themselves with science. But if you have a big heart and put love in the words you say, God will hear you and you will save yourself with a prayer!
Love wakes our hearts and warms our spirits. People have saved their homelands because of true love. They have defeated diseases and cataclysms. They have found new places and seas. But love often fails. Not because lovers are blind. Love without love is just lust. It’s not God’s creation anymore. Wars go down in flames because of it, no matter what name they have. Lust ruins the “lovers,” just like the gold rush ruins its gold diggers. Because of fake love, brother raises his hand against brother.
Without love, there is only jealousy. And jealousy kills its own, others, and even itself. Jealous people keep nagging, but inwardly they’re eating themselves. We’ve all felt jealousy before, and hatred, too.
Because ever since the world was created there has been one rule: good against evil. And the wicked one, whatever his name is, convinces us to stop loving. He makes us lose our faith. But he knows and believes that God is there! He just doesn’t want to admit it. He whispers nonsense to us and makes us break every rule and law, no matter if it’s God’s or civil. And the rules and laws are made to be followed and broken. If they didn’t exist, everywhere would be chaos, and the evil one would be bored to death. We all know that there are things we just shouldn’t do. We should love and help each other, and when we have the time we should light a candle for the devil.
And where is the cipher of distortion? Where is Pandora’s box? Who is the devil that is pushing us right into death’s hands? Who needs a world without love? People or God? It’s pointless! If we keep making war about religion, power, lordship, and money, we will slowly kill the love! And, because God is love, that puts Him in danger. We will slowly kill Him, too. And if we kill Him, we will kill ourselves — after all, we’re one and the same.
What would God be if he could be killed? He will rise, won’t he? It would be too cruel, even for us, the people, to kill God again! So, let’s look in each other’s eyes, or should I say, let’s look into each other’s souls, and we will find Him in our hearts. He will hear the call of our souls. Let’s not call Him by name; we don’t need a new war! Let’s just let love take away our pain, because God is love.
When she wrote this piece, Ateya Stepanovich was 15 years old. She lives in Byala, Bulgaria. In her free time, she likes to read books, travel, and spend time with friends and family. Ateya loves to write and her dream is to become a famous writer.