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  • "Do you believe in God?" Kathy asked suddenly.

    Analyze the question, my writer's brain told me. What is she really asking? Do I believe in the right God? Do I believe in her God? Do I believe in a God that's acceptable to both of us? Do I believe in the northern European God that lives in Protestant churches?

    Or is she asking if I believe in religion? Do I go to church every Sunday? Do I sing in the choir?

    Is she asking if I believe in the born-again-Christian God who plays favorites? In a God who lives in every rock, tree, grain of sand, human face?

    And how to answer it? I believe in God but not religion? How do I slot myself? What box do I fit in?

    What about me does she really want to know? Is it a superficial question or a deep one? How much do I want to reveal? It's a very personal question, after all ...

    "Never mind," she said, disappointed. "If it took you that long to answer, you don't."
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