God the Magical Father

As I write this, my dad is having bypass surgery to open a few narrowing arteries in his heart. He had a mild heart attack the day before Easter and since then, I’ve had my first experience as an atheist listening to excessive amounts of “praying for you” and “God is in control” types of sentiments being tossed about. I’m far enough along in my recovery from deconversion that these things don’t really bother me, but my different perspective now is still so stark.

Two days ago, I observed my 93-year-old great-grandfather feebly lean over toward my father and promise him that the Lord will keep him stable during surgery. For the first time, my great-grandfather sounded like a small child. I hear supernatural assurances and imagine children awed by the wand of a magician.

It was kind of cute, actually. I hope it’s not too condescending to think that faith in God is just a little precious.