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Keeping Our Center ~ Day 103

I heard recently of a 30-year-old young man who lost his father when he was 14-years-old and he has never forgiven God for it. From what I understand, this is most likely a result of growing up with a mother who pushed religion on him and professed belief in an all-mighty, all-powerful God (who would probably look badly on him if he did something wrong, like not go to church).

This saddens and frustrates me because believing in this God is a recipe for disaster. If God is truly all-powerful and we pray for someone to be cured, or someone dies tragically in an accident, or something else awful happens, then we question why God let that happen. Why doesn’t this great God, who supposedly loves everyone, stop all the bad things in the world from happening? And if God could, and God for some mysterious reason chooses not to, then of course I’m pissed at God for letting something bad happen to someone I love.

We have a great cartoon painting by Jerry Belland in our living room. It is Jesus and God playing “chess” and is entitled “What Jesus and God Do All Day in Heaven.” Jesus is pondering over a move out loud, “Hmmm. That means Ellie is screwed!” And God says, while moving a little figure, “OK. I’m gonna kill Charlie off over here then move Paula over here.” Is this really what so many people mean when they say, “God must have a reason for this?”

To me this is a spiritually abusive theology that suggests that we have a capricious God who dispassionately takes people out. Nope. Doesn’t work for me. God is not a micromanager, or a genie granting wishes, or a chess master playing with people’s lives. God is the strength to go on when we feel like we can’t. God is the courage to stand firm in the face of oppression. God is the love shared with those who are lonely. God is the dog or cat who comforts you. God is the awakening of our souls to see a bigger picture where all are one. God is forgiveness that brings healing. God is laughter that lightens our souls. God is the spark of hope that can’t be quenched. God is the presence in which our souls rest and find peace. And so much more.

If you prefer for your God to be an all-powerful genie, that’s fine with me, but I can’t do the mental gymnastics to make that work.

Love & Light!

Kaye