Strange Times

by Jowell Tan

Where were you when before we were here? 

Did you make the cosmos, or was it the other way around? Do the stars call you Father? Does the Sun and the Moon do the same?

From my place, down here amongst the earth, we have many names for you. 

We have entire buildings dedicated to you. We read your books. Through chosen men, we hear your word. We hear and are comforted, called to action to be better men. People utter your name from time to time, on the streets and in their homes. We call out to you in times of trouble, thank you for periods of windfall. In our deaths, we pass on into your arms. 

We are also a contradictory lot. 

We preach peace and wage war. We speak of brotherhood, yet in action, we discriminate. We argue and fight and kill to decide which version of you is the best. We hope that one day, you will appear and prove our individual versions right. 

Yet the question still remains:

Who are you? From where do you come?

When will you finally arrive?