Methodists don't do Godparents. Not that I'm a particularly good Methodist in any event. I am the granddaughter of a Methodist Minister. His wife, my grandma, was also the daughter of a Methodist minister. My uncle is also a Methodist minister and we have ministers in each generation dating back to the missionaries. So I am Methodist. It's something I identify with deep in my bones. However with a divorce, a much loved baby out-of-wedlock, and a much loved fiance who I haven't got round to marrying yet, I am far from the 'no playing cards as it is too close to gambling' religion I was brought up in. I was at church the other day and had to laugh as a 70-year-old stood up and was talking about the 'old' church 'where you knew someone had slid back because she was wearing lipstick'. Now that's more like the church I grew up in.
The truth is, prior to my baby being born, I hadn't been to church in forever. You know we are all super church going when we are in Samoa because that's what we do on Sundays. But overseas, some of us, how did that old man put it, 'slide back'. I remember a few years ago going to church with a very good friend in Canberra and feeling so happy. The beautiful hymns had tears streaming down my face. I thought then, why don't I go to church more when it makes me feel this good. I'm not sure what it was. Maybe just the fact that I love to sleep in on Sunday (and laziness wins again). But when Lagi was born it was such a miracle. I hadn't even had a boyfriend a year before (yes a scandalous and long promised blog about that is still to come). I had realised that I would rather not have children, than have children with the wrong person. I had resigned myself to the fact that this might mean I wouldn't have kids. That I would be a childless but eccentric and well-travelled divorce. Then in quick succesion I met my love and had Lagi, my little miracle (although actually he is not that little- being a hefty sturdy 5 month old who is way off those palagi charts- I refer to him as island sized). And I knew I had to start to go to church again. Not just because that's how I want to bring up my child. And not because I think church is in any way necessary for being Christian. Rather because my beautiful baby boy, made me so grateful, I wanted to celebrate and praise and thank God for him (and the many other blessings in my life but mainly him).
The church nowadays (both the Uniting Church in Sydney and the Ekalesia Metotisi Samoa) has welcomed both me and my baby into its folds. Never were there people more welcoming and less judgemental. Lagi was baptised at Matafele by my beloved Uncle and it was one of the most moving experiences in my life.
But Methodists don't do Godparents. But I do. Blame it on Disney but I have a romanticised notion. I don't want the wand or the pumpkin carriage. But I want someone my child can go to, depend on, divulge his innermost feelings to (especially as he grows up and he realises he is not happy with his mummy), someone who will love him and guide him outside the family. My best friend is not Methodist. I don't even know if she's Christian. But she is one of the most beautiful, wonderful, generous people I know. There is noone I know more sensible, noone I know who has a bigger heart, and noone I would rather have to guide my child spriritually. Because when it comes down to it, whether or not she has faith, she has LOVE, and to me, that's really what God is all about.