Friday, September 04, 2009

a conversation of my own

Just finished reading Angry Conversations With God: A Snarky But Authentic Spiritual Memoir, by Susan E. Isaacs, within which a disgruntled spiritual spouse decides to take God, whom she has been told all her single life will be her husband, to couples counseling.

Near the beginning, Susan imagines, after having heard about the very popular Conversations With God, what a conversation with the God she currently is "married" to would sound like. It goes something like this:

Susan: God, what the **** are you doing?

God: Shut the **** up or I'll kill you or something.

Of course, this is not what God really sounds like. And, of course, she and God reconcile in the end. But I found the book intriguing, as both a counselor and fellow conversant, and began to imagine my own conversations.

Mine goes something like this:

(I see God across the room, standing alone, looking around at the crowd.)

Me: (Approaching him because he doesn't make eye contact with me.) Hello? God? Do you remember me?

God: Oh! (His eyes register a blank look, but he smiles and shakes my hand.) Sure. I remember you. What was your name again?

(I smile awkwardly, embarrassed that I've remembered his name but he's not remembered mine. Happens all the time.)

Me: It's Lorie. Remember? We grew up together. I go to your church.

God: Oh, yeah! That's right! I thought you looked familiar. How is Scott? (He looks around the room again, scanning faces. He waves at someone.)

Me: Tom. (I smile another politely strained smile, embarrassed all the more.) My husband's name is Tom.

God: That's right—good ol' Scott. (His hand is on my arm, but he's already moving toward someone else.) Hey, listen—I'd love to chat, but I need to go shower blessings on people and heal some stuff and get to know some folks for a while, so, I'll catch you 'round, okay? Good talkin' with you, Leslie! Don't be a stranger!

I stand there, smarting, as he makes a bee-line for a beautiful couple with the right clothes and the right hair and the right stuff and embraces them warmly. I overhear him:

God: Hey guys! Great to see you again—last night was great, wasn't it? Hey—did you get that new job I sent you? Oh, good! And how about the tuition payment? Yes? Great. And how are the kids enjoying the new pool? Fabulous. Just wanted to bless you guys—love to love on ya! We'll get together again tomorrow night, okay?

The sting grows warm, spreading, a stupid don't-you-dare-cry smile plastered to my bewildered face, as I watch God go from person to person, working the room. I observe with jealousy, with hurt, with anger. And I wonder why, after 35 years of trying to get his attention, he still doesn't notice me. As I turn to escape, I hear him laughing, see him embracing others, observe him gaze deeply, affectionately into their eyes.

I walk out into the parking lot, the cool fall air mixing with my tears, soothing my red cheeks but little else. A life-time of trying, in my own insecure, imperfect way, to try to get to know this man, and he still doesn't really know I exist, much less give me the time of day. Why do I continue to pursue him?


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a hard place. I'm sad reading it.

And yet, when I'm with you, the God I know always points out what a lovely hum your soul has... maybe we can get you and Him together.

Bonnie said...

Now let me finish your story for you:

Across the room there is another girl watching. And she thinks, "There goes Lorie. She is so pretty. Her hair is so beautiful and she always dresses so stylishly. Her husband has the best sense of humor and is great with their kids. Her kids get to go to private school and her house looks like something out of Better Homes and Gardens. She's even so self confident she's able to walk up to God all on her own! She's so blessed." In other words, sweetie, to someone on the outside looking in YOU are the one with the perfect life! You are blessed. Abundantly so.

Why do you say, Lorie, and complain, "My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God?" Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Is 40: 27-31

We cannot fit God in our human box. He won't fit. He is too HUGE and great and awesome. God may be frustrating to you right now, but that is not an indication of His forgetfullness. Close your eyes and think of your children. Let the greatness of your love for them wash over you and make you cry with the enormity of it. Now, tell yourself, God loves you even more than that. Even more. He has not forgotten your name, Lorie. He loves it too much. He knows it and remembers it and loves it.


Kaleidoscope said...

The pain of your feeling of abandonment by God is excruciatingly palpable in this piece. How agonizing for you to have experiential and factual knowledge of who He is but apparently not to be able to access intimacy with Him at this point in time. The good thing is that He will break through. He will show you He is already enfolding you in His embrace.
Keep writing.
I love you. NG

plain dress said...

Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant. And so many of us are having this very conversation with Him now. And so many of us are watching Him hang with others. Brilliant way to make it look like our everyday relationships. A friend who rejects. Or plays favorites.

I'm in this place.