Dearest God the Father,
Okay it’s now getting to be a really annoying habit, this waking up in the wee hours with all these thoughts in my head. First, I love you. Next, I can hardly wait for this quarantine to end. For real. As in no more stay at home orders. No more masks. No more avoiding physical contact.
This whole situation feels like a crucible with the power to fuse the souls of women and men.
I could take the divine punishment path, as many have. Or a hundred options, some better than others. Instead, I choose the path labelled permissive will, to join with you in making the best of a bad situation. Mostly because otherwise we’d have to stop talking and I literally Could Not Live without You.
You allowing bad things to happen makes a certain kind of religiosity very nervous. It’s the kind that wants simple comfort, to believe for example that you won’t let me or mine get sick as long as I pray hard enough. It’s also the kind that offers a pay to play God, to say: if you join my religion, you’ll get a suffering free life. Spoiler alert: it’s six one and half dozen the other. God is not – and is not playing – some zero sum game. No, God is – and has always been – in the Winner Takes All game.
I’m saying this in third person, dad, because I won’t presume to speak to or for you here, even though I know in my heart we are on the same page. You don’t need me to tell you what you have always known to be true.
Like a certain notorious captain of the Enterprise, God does not believe in No-Win Scenarios. Neither do I. Even if that sometimes means bending the rules a little. Working on the Sabbath, bending the One God rule that God basically made up anyway. “Minor” things like that, which I learned from my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who recognized the truth about this world ages ago. We all know what really matters here, right?
Realizing that everything I think I’ve known might be wrong – but that God is definitely right, inevitably leads to the free fall moment. It’s on each of us to choose to choose. It’s on each of us to choose, not just in minor matters like what toothpaste will I use, but major matters – like will I get married? Will I have kids? How will I raise those kids? Will I risk making major mistakes by buying organic or eating meat? God might get angry no matter what we do. But the truth is, God loves us no matter what we do.
That’s the absolutely terrifying thing, the wonderful and the terrible truth. God loves us no matter what we do.
Perception is everything. Forced to spend time alone with just yourself for company? Or haha given free rein to spend time with only yourself for company, to remember that I have a God greater than myself who isn’t exactly absent. Also, in my crushed not broken opinion, I am also pretty good company.
Recognizing my own value as a person does not mean I’m okay with other people dying while I get the “privilege” of being safe. I’m making the best of a terrible situation not directly of my making. I can see with greater clarity the looming disasters ahead if we fail to reverse the dangers to our current ecosystem – for example, dangers in the form climate change and a broken healthcare system. Both things we can do something about.
It’s all a matter of perception, right dad?
I love you too.