The Last Encounter with my Atheist Friend

A few day ago, I lost a dear friend, with whom I worked for supporting Palestine and the Palestinian cause.
We also had deep existential discussions about meaning of life, God, faith…etc.

Unfortunately, for many years, he joined the crowd who accused me of “antisemitism”, however about a year ago, he rethought his position and regretted what was done, came many times to visit me despite his very ill-health.

This is my tribute to the good memory of my friend, sharing with the world, our last encounter:

*  *  *
In his hospital bed
He spoke of agony and the torment in his head
“The closest I could describe”, he said
“As if my head is full of chains, entangled and rattling inside
While being pulled in every direction”
He told me he’s yearning to find some peace
Not through brain-numbing tablets
But the other way, the spiritual way
“Even though I was an atheist, I never was anti-religion
I always respected people of faith” he whispered
“Sometimes when I used to feel overwhelmed by life
I used to stop by the mosque on the way
Sit there for sometime
Watch people pray
Much love, warmth and peace
I always felt in that place
Calm and uplifted I left
Every time I’ve been”
Gasping for air
Gasping for life
Gasping for help
Holding on my hand
In utter despair
“I want to feel that peace again”, he said
* * *
Did you try praying?” I asked
“Try it out, just say anything that comes to mind
* * *
With tear filled eyes, and trembling voice, he said:
“but I don’t know how
I don’t know what to say
I don’t know where to start
I don’t know where to start”
* * *
Just say God, help me”, I whispered
* * *
“God help me
God, help me

God, help me…”

He repeated passionately

Pausing for a moment, he said:
“I feel like a hypocrite
I don’t want to be a hypocrite
 I never called unto God, never believed
I don’t want to be a hypocrite”
* * *
You are not a hypocrite, just say:
“God, IF you are there please help me”
* * *
Tears streaming,  repeating over and over and over again:
 “God if you are there , if you hear me, please help me”
“God, I want to believe, God I want to believe…”
“God, if what am going through is my repay
for the bad things I’ve done in my life, so be it”
“I guess I know why I wasn’t able to  believe
I refused to acknowledge my vulnerabilities
The need for someone greater is a sign of weakness,
I always thought”
“I know how atheists think
They think that people of faith are weak idiots
Gullible freaks
But how can that be!
When the strongest most intelligent people I ever met;
Were a devout Muslim woman  and a Christian priest”


Just as I was leaving, saying goodbye

He asked me to write “the prayer I said”

On a piece of paper

I did

“God, IF you are there please help me”

* * *

May your God-yearning soul find its way Home

May it finally dwell in peace



4 Responses

  1. Reblogged this on Fig Trees and Vineyards and commented:

    You hear stories like this from time to time–atheists turning to God on their deathbeds.


  2. May your friend find peace in the next world, Nahida.


  3. Religion brings out the very best in people. Unfortunately it also brings out the very worst.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on nasreenebrahim.


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