Faith Part 1: Outer Space

We’re all trying very hard.

Growing up we believe what we’re told, or we rebel against it because faith costs more than it appears to be worth. Nevertheless we wrestle. We make “I’ll nevers” for ourselves and “He’d nevers” for God.

This plus that equals another thing.

We’re creating math equations of existence with only a few digits, a few thousand denominations. God must be and yet… who is he?

I go spinning, like those horrifying movies set in outer space. Bouncing slowly along the outside of the ship to batten down some hatch, tethered by a life line. Then a meteor comes, some shift in the weightless darkness, and a man who used to be a boy, or a woman who used to be a little girl, goes spinning. Spinning forever into the coldest, darkest nothing. No air, no ground, no more going inside where it’s safe….

That is what it feels like to question what I’ve always believed. I can accept that God could be other than I’ve known. But he must Be, or the spinning never ends. He wants to be known, doesn’t he? And He has some plan, right?

I’m a sinner. I have no problem taking responsibility even for what Eve did in the garden at the beginning. I eat of that tree every day. But what are the boundaries of my life, what is the point?

I’ve kept all of the doors closed today because it got so blazing hot outside and then smoke from distant wildfires clogged the air. It was both windy and hazy outside in a way that usually promises rain, but not today. Today it was hot, dry, stifling and I sat inside with the blinds shut, existing. I felt comforted as the house grew dark in the evening and I left the lights off. Silent, darkness stuffed with dry warmth, like a dryer just moments after it’s finished tumbling clean clothes.

In the stillness I listen for God. The monsters inside of me sometimes distract me from this listening, but even then I wonder if he might show up.

A childhood of stiff fundamentalism, and then later working with the louder, more demonstrative Christians who still worry about what we Don’t Do, and add to it a lot more of what we all Must Do.

But when I’m alone I just yearn for God himself.

Where is he in our magical incantations, or emotionally charged sessions? Where is he now in the silence of my borrowed, hot boxed home?

How often do I tell myself I’ve heard him, or convince myself I haven’t? How often do I make who he is all about who I am?

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