I ran across Alexander McCall Smith’s delightful novels several years ago. Some are loosely designated mysteries. The chief delight for me, though, is in McCall Smith’s warm humor and intellectual depth. It’s a bit like drinking a hot cup of tea laced with antioxidants; the health benefits are present, but disguised by the pleasant warmth of the tea that sinks right down to the soul.
His No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series revolves around Precious Ramotswe, a single female detective in Botswana. She’s feisty, opinionated, and destined to kick the butt of the wannabe bad guys in her path. Early in the first book of the series, her dying father reflects on his life. And country. And God. And his daughter, Precious.
And as I read his musings, I came across this passage:
“They gave me pills–large white ones–and they told me to take these if the pain in my chest became too great. But these pills make me sleepy, and I prefer to be awake. So I think of God and wonder what he will say to me when I stand before him.
“Some people think of God as a white man, which is an idea which the missionaries brought with them all those years ago and which seems to have stuck in people’s mind. I do not think this is so, because there is no difference between white men and black men; we are all the same; we are just people.“
–Alexander McCall Smith, The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, pg 19.
Can I have an amen?