Monday, February 22, 2010


I asked my husband yesterday if it bothered him that I have been staying home while he went to church with the kids. "A little," he admitted. "Is it the child care? Or the spiritual side of things?" I asked. "Definitely not the kid care stuff, a little the spiritual," he replied - "It's just a bit awkward and a little lonely to be there by myself when everyone else is with a spouse." So I decided I would go back to church with him, even though he said it was O.K. if I didn't - he could understand why I wanted to stay home and rest.

But as I was falling asleep, I asked myself why it is I don't want to go to church lately. Yes, I do usually end up napping at that time, which I often need. But I know it's bigger than that. So I asked myself, "Do you still believe in God?" "YES!" came my internal answer. "Do you still believe in Jesus?" "YES!" I replied, again. "So what's the deal?"

The deal is, I *want* fervently to believe in God and Jesus and the goodness of it all (even though God doesn't promise it will all be good) - but I am terribly angry with Him. Enraged. Mad. Furious. Livid. Frustrated. Doubting. Because if God is God and God is Love and Jesus is the way, why does my son have Tourette's Syndrome and Asperger's? Why do I battle obesity and anxiety? Why do kids have cancer? Why do earthquakes take hundreds of thousands of lives? Why do people send money to other countries without sending money to help the destitute in their own? Why do I have a nice house and car and husband and life, and other people are living in slums or being beaten or dealing drugs or being subjected to who knows what? Why would God let cancer take away my pastor's wife?

Either God and Jesus are active in the world, walking among this suffering, or they're distant/remote. If they're here, I just don't get it. Yes, I know Jesus suffered for all of us, God KNOWS what suffering feels like - but I still don't get it. Do I expect Utopia? Heaven on Earth? I don't know. And if they're NOT here on Earth, if they're more like distant observers with whom we will only come face to face after we pass out of this realm, what's the point? And isn't it cruel?

And finally, yes, I certainly waffle with my old believes that God and Jesus are man-made creations to explain and assuage some of our deepest questions, fears, and needs. I know that could still be true. My gut screams at me that there is a God, that Jesus is real, which lets me know I still believe at some Christian level.

But I am just so full of rage that going to church and following the liturgy and smiling and spreading the Peace and taking Eucharist and hearing about Sunday school and exchanging pleasantries with people I don't really know just doesn't feel meaningful to me. I hope some day it will. I suppose it will start with me going back to church.

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