Meet Naomi, 2nd Year, Natural Sciences, Hatfield.
I am naturally a very inquisitive person and like to ask a lot of questions. This manifests in all aspects of my life, whether it is wanting to learn random facts and information or in my relationships with friends and family. People have always particularly fascinated me - and my mum always laughs about how much I used to people-watch from my buggy as a young child.
Growing up, going to church was a family activity, as well as a way to socialise on a Sunday. I particularly enjoyed going to church with my Nan and the strong sense of West-Indian community at her local Church. Whilst I always enjoyed the sermon, if I’m honest the best thing about Church was joining along with the gospel choir, or even the jerk chicken and rice after the service.
Moving to Durham has been eye opening, as for the first time I have been exposed to
a young, concentrated Christian population. I am very grateful for the opportunities this has presented for me to cultivate my curiosity around Christianity, particularly how patient many of the community have been with my intense questioning of something that is so fundamental their identity.
Taking part in an Alpha Course helped answer some of my questions about the historical evidence of the existence of Jesus, but I am continuing to work out how Christianity fits in to my own personal identity.
As a science student, the debate around the compatibility of religion and science is often on my mind. I’ve read countless testimonies of scientists coming to faith and being able to find compatibility between the two, but I have always remained somewhat sceptical. At church, I have witnessed people becoming overcome with emotion through direct and personal experiences with God, but I have never experienced this first-hand.
Like many others, I look at the diversity of global religious views and find myself wondering how so many others can be considered wrong. If the Christian message is one of unconditional love, how can people use religion so divisively in so many parts of the world?
Even though I don’t have a strong personal relationship with Jesus, I find powerful messages and lessons in the Bible that influence the way in which I lead my life. The sermons at my Nan’s church taught me to strive to always see the best in people and to be conscious that I only know a fraction of anyone else’s story. The teachings from the Bible may not all be applicable to my life, but nevertheless, I remain curious and am always keen to learn more.
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