We had the assignment in our support group to write a letter. I wrote my letter to God. I read it last night. Not sure how they took it. It was a very emotional meeting, listening to all their letters. Some to their babies, some to relatives. Lots of tears.
This is the way a friend used to start her prayers. Her gentle voice emerging from our silent circle when we closed our Sunday evening gatherings. Hey, God. So familiar, so personal.
This is the way I used to feel about you.
Now I feel more like Margaret in that Judy Blume book, asking, “Are you there, God?”
Where are you, God?
I used to be able to feel you when I needed you. I used to be able to close my eyes and lean back into your arms. Now I close my eyes and I search for you behind me; I begin to settle back, testing… But I stop, pull up short. It’s like those trust falls. I don’t trust you’re there to catch me.
I am Jacob, ready to wrestle my angel.
C’mon, I’ve got my boxing gloves on, I’m dancing on my toes, back and forth, back and forth. Ready to tear into you. I’ve worked myself up to this, trained for the anger, fed this fire in me and I’m just waiting to sink my fists into you, let my feet fly, yell and scream with all the fury I can summon.
I know you can take it. I know I can rail and rage against you and you won’t feel a thing. That’s why I need you, God. You can contain me. You can fill me when all else drains away.
What the hell, God? Where are you?
I am trying to find the right metaphor:
Are we still playing Blind Man’s Bluff? I hear you, I sense you out there, dashing just out of reach. I flail my arms out, casting about for you. I’m getting tired. I’m frustrated. I’m ready to take off the blindfold and let someone else be It.
Are you the horse I have fallen off of? Do I just have to pick myself up and get back on? Wait, why did I fall in the first place? Usually one falls off a horse because the horse throws the rider. It hasn’t been long enough that my broken bones and bruises have healed. I haven’t forgotten how much that fall hurt. I haven’t forgiven you yet.
Are you the ocean, and I am a drop of water? Are you everywhere, within me and without?
Are you the waterfall? Has your torrent slowed to a trickle? Or have I been sitting under you so long my shoulders are numb and my lips are blue and I’ve forgotten I’m soaking wet?
Do you come disguised as a visitor, a friend, a listening ear, a few gentle words that arrive by email?
Are you love?
Are you Light?
I don’t know what to pray anymore.
I used to pray to you for protection. I used to ask you favors. I used to pray that you would help everything turn out alright.
Now I’m at a loss for words. They feel futile, anyway. The only prayer I can pray since Joseph died is come holy spirit. And I speak it, and I sing it, and I chant, and I wait in silence, and you don’t come to me. You don’t come.
I contemplate atheism. I take comfort in science, in the laws of nature, the cycle of life and death. Yet I still believe in you. I still know you’re out there, creator, sustainer, redeemer.
But I need you to meet me halfway. Or more than halfway. I used to sing your praises, worship you, give all to you. But for now, I am the least of these. I need you to feed me, to give me drink, to clothe me. I need you to invite me in.
I am so weary of all this waiting.
© Burning Eye