My secret is that I need God….
Life After God is a collection of short stories by Douglas Coupland published in 1994. The stories are set around a theme of a generation raised without religion. The jacket for the hardcover book reads “You are the first generation to be raised without religion.” The text is an exploration of faith in this vacuum of religion.
That was written 27 years ago. Today it seems we have another generation or two void of any genuine religious experience.
Many good stories and lines in that classic work of stories, and here’s one that might be being said by young people today who may be turning away from institutionalized religious practice but are seeking to find something or someone in their anxious pursuit of some kind of peace.
“For me there was nothing – not even the seed of a religious experience to grow from – and I found that I had to build (and continue to) try and build some sort of faith for myself using the components taken from disposable West Coast suburban culture. Malls and nature and fast-food places.”—Coupland U.S. Today 1994
And here’s the one that made the book memorable, that I and many others were able to relate to.
“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.”
Perhaps this line penned by St Augustine of Hippo circa 397 AD is the cure to Coupland’s longing,
Thou hast created us for Thyself, and our heart is not quiet until it rests in Thee.