In which we explore the theology of Winnie Ther Pooh.

Rain Gauge at 4.25 inchesThis week it has rained and rained and rained and RAINED. And there have been times when we were entirely surrounded by water, which I find thought provoking. So forgive me, if you will, my little voyage into deep waters today.

Yesterday Ian observed that “Winnie the Pooh and his fluff and stuff friends do not believe in God. God is not for them.” We found this a curious observation (and we asked him for supporting evidence, which caused him to change the subject) since not once in any WtP book owned by us is God mentioned in any way. We have some “modern” Pooh books on scientific topics like gravity and the weather and growing up, but mostly we prefer the original books. If you are not thoroughly familiar with that source material, any lessons contained therein are implied rather than spelled out. So I am really interested in what has caused Ian to not only ponder the theological leanings of the Fluff ‘N Stuff gang, but to reach such a firm conclusion. Further investigations are needed, but one thing is crystal clear. Children understand sub-text.

Ian’s musings on the invisible came at the same time that several of my friends and acquaintances were discussing the ways in which people become invisible to our society. The disabled. The morbidly obese. Apparently our default response to what to do with people who don’t “fit” is not to see them. They disappear from our dialogue about social issues, we don’t make eye contact with them as we pass them on the street, and the isolation sometimes imposed by their physical limitations becomes a real and pervasive loneliness.

I think part of our avoidance may come from years of being conditioned not to STARE, darling, that’s rude… but probably also a lot of it comes from our own discomfort. From our fears. Are we, inadvertently, teaching our children that these people are not real? That God (or love, if you are a non-theist) is “not for them?” If we are, that is a sin of omission. I was talking to a dear, beloved friend who told me she has prayed daily to see people as God sees them, in the hope that someday she will, through that exercise, be able to love herself. By not facing up to our fears and seeing the people who represent them, are we becoming invisible to ourselves? Are we failing one another and our own true selves in this way?

Today my prayer (or affirmation, if prayer isn’t your thing) is that I be able to see the invisible people. That I will not, through omission, teach my children that anyone is made of Fluff ‘n Stuff. That I will be able to remember that Love is for everyone. That I will not be afraid to be imperfect or be afraid to truly see the people around me.

If God had a name, what would it be
And would you call it to his face
If you were faced with him in all his glory
What would you ask if you had just one question?
And yeah yeah God is great yeah yeah God is good
yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah…
What if God was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home?
-Joan Osbourne
Rainy Day Fun inside