Friday, December 16, 2011

Still Praying For Christopher Hitchens

Pat Archbold
Friday, December 16, 2011

Christopher Hitchens now knows the truth of it.

Christopher Hitchens the smart, acerbic, funny, mean, insightful, and thick commenter on all things has passed away at the age of 62.

Hitchens may have been most famous for his outspoken atheism. A year and a half ago when Hitchens was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, I wrote that even if he thought it was stupid, I was praying for him. I still am.

I have no reason to think that Hitchens had a sudden religious awakening at the end, but I can hope. I can hope that at the end there was a small crack in the veneer large enough to let in the light. But I can never know, not in this life.

But there are things I do know. God loved Christopher Hitchens. Always has. He created him out of love. He died for him out of love. And I will pray for him out of love.

Hitchens, not unlike me, was a sinner in need of redemption and penance. Jesus took care of the redeeming part, perhaps I can assist with the penance.

I heard the news of his passing this morning before I went out to run. As I ran I thought of him. God made him smart and he would have made a fine Christian because he was obviously passionate. I have often thought (hoped) that Hitchens energetic atheism was at its heart a pursuit of truth, even if misguided most of the time. When I wrote about praying for him last year my comment box and my inbox filled up with angry people decrying my fruitless prayers. Yet when Hitchens himself responded to it, he didn’t seem as angry about it. He may not have agreed, but I think he saw the logic of my belief even if he didn’t share it.

I prayed as I ran this morning and I offered up my run and my sufferings today for the repose of the soul of Christopher Hitchens, a person loved by God.

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