I cannot recall exactly when the idea of prayer began to change radically in my own life. Prayer, for me, used to stand as something separate from other parts of my life. But I have come to learn that real prayer is not so much talking to God as just sharing God's presence.
To those in the minority, the exact group the separation of church and state was meant to protect, being required by our government to be subject to prayers to a God and faith in which they don't believe will never just feel ceremonial. Never.
For some of us, the more mature we become, the more we are able to see the perfection of our mother's love. But our mom was out of the ordinary. Not just because she was ours, but because she overcame all the odds against her.
Whatever "God" may or may not be, I can't help but believe that faith in humanity alone is no better alternative. If God seems to fail at perfect goodness and power in light of human suffering and tragedy, so too does humanity.
For years, I prided myself on being an atheist and had no interest in god or religion. Back then, the word "spirituality" wasn't part of our everyday vernacular. But all that changed during the 1970s when spirituality became a buzz word.
You know that panicky feeling you get when you drop your briefcase or purse and everything spills out in public? That's how I used to feel every day: embarrassed, furious and anxious because I couldn't keep up with my life.