Sailing In The Storm
“You should hate him. After everything he’s done to you, everything he’s taken, you should hate god.”
“We’re back there again and all I suggested was that you read the Bible with me.”
“Why should I undertake a lengthy study of the bible?”
Lord, You know he uses lowercase to taunt me.
The atmosphere around me resonated, Breathe!
A long sigh, Okay, Lord. What do I say?
You know what to say.
My nails clacked against the keyboard, “How can I hate Him when He’s taken such good care of me?”
“‘Good care?!’ You call your life ‘good care’?”
“I call what God has done for me in the midst of all the horrors good care.”
“he caused the horrors.”
“No, He let them happen.”
“So you admit he could have stopped them.”
“Of course He could have.”
“Then how can you insist he loves when he didn’t protect you?”
I know his fists were clenched when he wrote that.
“Just admit it, god cares nothing for you or anyone else or he doesn’t exist.”
“I know God cares for me precisely because He didn’t protect me from the horrors but through them. He didn’t remake the world so that I’d be exempt from all the bad; He left me fully human. Instead, He made me able to ride the deluge without drowning. And He’s shown me that all I’ve lost was precious and great, but none of it was necessary.
“I thought my happiness depended on my family, the life I would have lived, not being thwarted at every turn, people who would support and encourage me to develop all the talents God has given me, a long lists of things. I was wrong. None of those that is the source of happiness. I hurt so much because of what I’ve lost. Then one day I looked around and saw myself sailing through waves that should have dashed me to pieces and knew I had gained more than I could ever lose. I have the power to be joyful in the midst of storms. That power came from God.”
<end 5 minutes but I need to continue>
“So it’s alright with you that god threw you down the stairs because it builds character.”
“He didn’t throw me down the stairs. But instead of shielding me from reality, He gave me the ability to live with joy in a brutal world. The horrible things haven’t destroyed me. I haven’t even been able to destroy myself. And that’s not my doing.”
“It’s not god’s doing.”
“Yes, Z, it is God’s doing. Don’t you know what makes life joyful in the midst of brutality?”
“Someone like my Papa who was simply there. Who held me in his arms as we cantered through the salty spray. Who knew I could stay on a horse and I did. Who ordered extra maraschino cherries for me because I loved them. He loved me and I loved him. I had that kind of relationship with Marmar too. Even when the world went crazy, I was able to face it because they were with me. That’s the kind of relationship God has given me. He’s always with me, strengthens me, helps me live well in a world that rips people apart for living well.
“The world says I should wallow in pain and loss. I should be ripped apart and never truly healed; the best I can hope for is some sort of sentimental montage. I should be triggered by the rapes in the Metamorphoses and instead I ponder how cruel we can be to one another; and I note how often men are victims of women: no one escapes unscathed. The best I should be able to do is ride anger to some sort of success, use it to prevent others from doing horrible things. But instead, I found myself helping an actual person who wanted to rescue her nephews because I’m not powered by anger at injustice but by love for real people and the joy that comes from gift that will help them.
“Z, I’ve been angry but it just made me tired. Love and joy energize.”
“So I should read the bible and I’ll be like you.”
“Why would anyone want to be like me. The world already has me. We need you.”
“The world has me. I work every day to help the world. Why should I waste my time reading the bible?”
“Because it’s not a waste of time. Because it’s an excellent place to begin getting to know God who didn’t toss you down the steps to build character. God speaks to us in the Bible. You’ve got an amazing mind and I’m convinced you’ve got a heart and soul just as amazing. I want to see you shine like the sun.”
“If god wants me he can hit me with a blinding light.”
“He probably won’t come on your terms. We can have what we want or we can have our scripts but we can’t have both.”
On Friday (and occasionally Saturday if Friday is filled with an excess of other activities),100s of bloggers set a timer, write for 5 minutes, and then post the results over at Kate Motaung’s blog, Heading Home. She provides the prompt on Thursday evening. We don’t edit or concern ourselves with whether our writing is flawless or worthy to be seen. We expose our incomplete, unpolished thoughts and words to each other and our readers and tweet them with the hashtag #FMFParty. Join us.