Dear God: A Few Questions

 

Pamela Park Sunrise
© 2015 Marta C Drew

Dear God,

Why, when I am supposed to have it so easy, has my life felt so hard in recent years?

 

There’s a French saying by someone — I don’t remember who, I saw it on Pinterest– that translates to “I hear your voice in all the world’s noise.” I wish I could hear yours. Could you talk a little louder? You probably feel like you are yelling at us all the time, but you can’t imagine how loud it is down here. Maybe I should remember that when I’m dealing with my own kids.

 

Are you pretty fed up with everyone on Earth right now? I picture you in your sunny offices, dogs and children playing right outside your window, watching the news and shaking your head:

“No, my loves,” you might say (I hear it in an Irish accent for some reason I can’t explain).  “That’s not what I meant. You’re focusing on the wrong things.” You probably say that about me all the time. I say it about me too, if it helps to know that.

 

What am I supposed to be doing that I’m not doing?

 

Where is my mom? Is she with you? With me? Already reborn as the eagle I keep seeing in the park? I wish I could talk to her about how it feels to be here without her. It’s like living through a Minnesota winter without a storm door sometimes. Will you tell her I said that? People behaved a lot better when she was here.

 

How come you made me an only child and a writer and a romantic and uber-sensitive? That seems mean-spirited.

 

Are you pretty fed up with everyone on Earth right now?

 

Do I have a guardian angel? Is it my hairstylist? I think it is. I have a fantasy that when I die (decades from now, I hope), he will meet me wherever I land and explain everything to me. Of course I would love if you did it, but I assume you’re busy.

 

Did you write my whole life before I started living it or was it just a loose outline? I like the outline idea, because then we’re writing it together. Either way, it’s beautiful. Thank you.

 

Do you really like Donald Trump? I know he’s one of your children and everything, same as me, but he’s such a dick.

 

How can I be grateful for all of the material stuff I have when I feel so poisoned by it? How much am I supposed to share? It never feels like enough. Would people stop treating me like I won the lottery if my name were on the paychecks with Brian’s? It should be.

 

Why isn’t the publishing world more of a meritocracy? Did you know that Lauren Conrad from “The Hills” wrote a novel and it got PUBLISHED? And have you read Fifty Shades of Gray? Idiotic. I mean, come on.

 

Garden Gate Canoe Bay Summer 2015
© 2015 Marta C Drew

 

Thank you for artists like Meryl Streep, Chef Thomas Keller, Mary Oliver, and Patty Griffin. Are they part of your personal staff? Maybe down here on Earth as artists in residence? They inspire me every time I see their work. Wow.

 

Why is it that all the wrong people feel ashamed?

 

Do you love the Kardashians more than you love the rest of us? There’s no reason they should be doing this well.

 

Why do you put people in families together who don’t want to be in families together?

 

Why is it so hard to believe that all I have to do is say (and be) sorry and you’ll forgive me? I make a lot of the same wretched mistakes over and over again — do you really believe me when I keep apologizing for the same thing ? I don’t know if I believe me sometimes. Am I apologizing for all the wrong stuff? I worry about that.

 

Why do some friends come on strong with attention and then retreat into radio silence with no discernible warning?

 

Are you really threatened by astrology and feng-shui and all of that stuff? I really can’t imagine why you would be.

 

What is your favorite spot on earth? Mine is Lake Hubert, but you probably already knew that.

 

Why do some friends come on strong with attention and then retreat into radio silence with no discernible warning? Am I supposed to keep chasing them? For how long should I do that before I let them go? I feel like you’ve given me more than my share of those, but maybe you’re trying to show me something. So what is it?

 

Why do you keep reminding me about people I’m trying to forget?

 

What’s the most important thing to get right about raising my kids? What do I need to change to get it right? Please don’t tell me to read any parenting books — they’re full of fear-mongering and sensationalist bullshit (see question regarding publishing).

 

After all these years of loss and calamity and anxiety, how do I make my faith stronger than my fear? I trust you, I really do … I know you will walk me through anything.  But what’s the next “anything” going to be? Can you help me stop trying to guess?

 

Can I learn to enjoy what and who remains in my life and let the rest go, at least for now? Will I ever stop believing the mean lies I tell myself? Will I ever stop begging for understanding from careless people? Will you help me banish my dark thoughts about losing everyone?

Please help me remember that even if that happened –even if the very worst happened and I lost everyone and everything I love– I still wouldn’t be alone. I would have You.

 

And you have me, listening for your voice in all the world’s noise.

Amen.

dock on Squam Lake 091611
© 2015 Marta C Drew

11 thoughts on “Dear God: A Few Questions

  1. “After all these years of loss and calamity and anxiety, how do I make my faith stronger than my fear?”

    It’s such a central question, isn’t it? It one I struggle with all the time, and lose, and I believe it happens to be one the United States (and most of the Western world) is currently struggling with– or rather, no longer struggling with, but has chucked faith for fear (see Syrian refugee immigration, etc). At the risk of being trite or too Jesusy, I remember fairly being knocked out of my chair the first time I read (really read) Daniel 3 (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego). Nebuchadnezzar basically says, “you are all going to die for not worshiping me. How ’bout THEM apples?!” And this was their response:
    “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

    I love the tension between, “He is able to save us, and he will save us,” and “But even if he doesn’t.” Kind of like the guy to who told Jesus, “I believe; help my unbelief.”

    I guess it’s comforting to know that we don’t know, sometimes, and that no one else ever REALLY has either. Anyhow, I’m not really sure I’ve actually brought anything of interested to the party here, but I felt compelled to share, so I have.

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    1. I’m glad you have … and you always bring all kinds of interesting stuff. That’s the truth. It’s all messy and confusing and humbling, talking about this stuff, which is why it’s so important to do it. xo

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  2. Beautiful! I teach a class introducing the Bible as literature and also as the source of faith for Christians. One of my stated goals is that students would gain factual information (various biblical genres, exegesis/hermeneutics, themes of OT/NT, etc). But my other, equally important, stated goal is that students would develop a clearer understanding of and commitment to their personal values. So many of them struggle to articulate difficult questions – as though that makes them less of a follower of God. THANK YOU for naming your own personal questions with God and for calling Donald Trump a dick in your prayer. That’s the stuff.

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  3. Thank you for sharing this, Marta, and for your thoughts/ideas about the answers to your questions. I love this.
    I used to be so mad at God for making me so sensitive. People kept telling me it was a gift and I would cry out and beg Him to take it back because it hurt more than I could handle. Now, I am truly grateful and slowly learning what to do with this gift that hurts, a lot.
    The other side of Lake Hubert (from camp) is my favorite place and feels the most like home to me. It was my refuge and the place I could hear from God the clearest.

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  4. Marta, this is beautiful and vulnerable and REAL. I love the way you pulled questions and insecurities from the deepest recesses of every human heart. You are not alone, dear friend. Thank you for sharing.

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  5. Oh, my, Marta, I’ve read your questions to God at least ten times and every time I find something new that gives me pause, makes me smile or makes me think. I’ve shared this essay with others – frankly, I think it should be dropped as leaflets from airplanes. Maybe even from the Trump plane to discourage his supporters. Lovely and poignant writing.

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