Friday, June 15, 2012

God is Far Away

Sometimes God seems very far away.  So far away that sometime, just sometimes, God doesn't seem possible.  Times like this are lonely times.  So lonely that God doesn't even seem to be part of the life I live.  Seems like a nice fairy tale that children can believe, and then one day, "poof"  it's gone.  There is no tooth fairy.  Santa Claus is a big hoax and God, too went over the bridge with the Billy Goats.  Sometimes it's just too hard to believe.  I mean, really, He came back to life, He's three things all at the same time, He exits everywhere and is in everything.  Come on!

 I remember the day I discovered there was no Santa Claus.  My brother and I were minding the truck that was there to receive the fresh harvested wheat.  It was summer and we were goofing around waiting for the combine to come with a fresh load of new wheat.  For some reason Santa Claus became the topic.  The bomb dropped and I lost a little bit of childhood magic.  My brother said things like, "come on, sis, how could he be over the whole world on the same night?  How could he come down the chimeny?  Think about it."   I cried.  It was so lovely to believe.   

Faith in God starts out a little bit like faith in Santa Claus.  It's perfect and simple and magic.  At least that was how it was for me.  I was a teenager at a youth rally.  I was called, (at the same time quite remarkably, as my best friend), to the alter.  There, we were anointed with faith and the journey began. 

Since then, and probably even before then, I've never not believed.  I just get so screwed up.  What does this mean?  What does that mean?  Does that mean I have to behave like that?  Faith has really screwed up a lot of people.  Wars and terrible terribles have happened because of Faith.  And, guess what?  It's all been because of faith in God.  Everybody seems to have a different God than I do and everybody seems to understand their God way better than I. 

Sometimes I get this overwhelming peace that "passeth understanding," and I recognize it as God.  But other times, when I really need it.  When I really, really need it.    I get nothing.  Nothing at all.  No peace, no promise, no comfort.  Nothing.  I wait and I listen.   Nothing.  Then I wonder.  Do I really believe?  Am I just an imposter?  Am I just hoping for my stocking to be filled when I already know the truth about Santa Claus?

It's been a long time.  Jed as a quadriplegic.  Many prayers, many anointments, many everythings, trying to get him better, but he's really no better.  He still can't.  I get tired.  Ubaldo gets tired.  But, oh, how Jed must get tired of being who he isn't.   He isn't a man who can't.  He isn't a man who needs to ask.  He isn't a man who cries out in pain.  But right now he is. 

This is the time when we need God.  We need to know God is with us, but sometimes, when it gets especially dark and painful, that's when God seems very far away.  It seems like we're doing this alone and damn it, God.  That just doesn't seem fair. 

So, here we are, him quite well medicated, sleeping soundly, me, pondering the reality of faith while at the same time sipping Brandy and dreaming about slot machines.  I heard a song once that went something like this, "God, I wanna have a beer with you....."  It went on an on about the one day when the singer and God would sit down and have a chat about, "life and the way things are...," but the chat would be with an unjudgemental beer and a friendly exchange.  That's the God I want.  I want God to be my friend.  I want Him to love me in spite of all my weaknesses and doubts.  I want him to be my friend. 

He is.  He is my friend, because even now, as I ponder His nonexistence, drink brandy and dream of slot machines, He comforts me because I need it.  Friends are like that. 

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