Editor’s Note: This is part 54 of Marie’s Story, continued from My Blog Helps Take the Shame Away
Me: So, is there any other housekeeping? Or are you ready to get started on this letter to God?
Carl: I’m ready! You lead the way.
When I wrote this, I used a free flowing format. I just let the words flow out of me and I captured the thoughts in whatever order they showed up. I didn’t go back to organize my thoughts. So, the flow might not make the greatest sense.
Carl: So, I’m curious. Why did you mention that? Do you think I’m going to judge you for not having your writing neatly organized?
Me: No. I don’t think you are going to judge me. Well, maybe I do think that on some level. I mean, I know you won’t judge me, but I think I might be judged in general—if that makes sense.
I guess I didn’t think about it, I just said that out of habit. I’m in the habit of justifying my imperfection. But, I do want you to be forewarned that the letter might be rambling and a bit confusing unlike most of my writing.
On a side tangent, I’ve been noticing that all of my letters—to my dad, to my mom, to God—have all been rambling and disorganized because I have been using them as a way to capture and clarify what’s going on in my head.
Anyway, I guess I want you to know you might need to ask for clarification as I read this letter to you. But, I guess you feel comfortable doing that anyway. I guess I didn’t really need to tell you that.
Phew, (small chuckle) I’m having trouble answering your question!
Carl: Your answer was fine. It told me what I wanted to know. I just wanted to find out your reason for saying what you said.
Me: (Chuckling again) Well, I’m glad I answered your question. It was a tough one!
Okay. (Deep breath) Here we go…
“Hi, God. I have some questions for you. Are you available for a conversation? Can you hear me?”
Carl: (Softly) Ouch! Ouch!
Me: “Do you care what happens to me? Do you care about me? I’ve been trying to reach you. It seems I haven’t yet been successful.”
Carl: (Something unintelligible)
Me: I’m sorry. I didn’t hear what you said.
Carl: Oh, I didn’t mean for you to stop. I was vocally expressing what I’m feeling in response to your words.
Me: Oh, I thought I saw you writing down something.
Carl: I did write down something in the margin. I’m making notes on things I’d like to come back and talk about at a later time, but I didn’t mean for you to stop reading. Sorry for the interruption.
Me: No problem.
“Some people are telling me I have to follow their rules in order to have access to you. They say you are a jealous and vindictive God. They say I’m doomed to an eternity of hellfire if I don’t do—”
Carl: Okay. I do want to interrupt you for a moment at this point. I’d like for you to pause your reading for a moment.
How are you feeling as you read this?
Me: I guess I’m not that emotional. I guess it’s because I’ve been having this same internal debate—this same conversation with God—for the last 20 years. It’s not a new experience for me.
Carl: I see. I noticed you seem rather detached as you are reading, and I was just checking in with you.
Me: This is old news for me, so to speak. This only difference this time is that I’ve never written it all out before. I’ve never given it such concrete language before. And, I’ve never directly addressed God while dealing with it.
I guess I’ve not felt that I had access to God. I’m not sure I have access to him now. I’m not sure if he is listening or if he cares, but I’m writing as if I do have access to him.
(After a pause) Shall I continue?
Carl: Yes, please do.
Me: “Some people are telling me I have to follow their rules in order to have access to you. They say you are a jealous and vindictive God. They say I’m doomed to an eternity of hellfire if I don’t do what they tell me to do. They say they know the absolute truth and that truth fits everyone. They believe everyone else is wrong. They believe they know what is best for me.
Yet, there is severe disagreement and discord within their own ranks. They all believe they have found and deciphered the absolute truth. They call each other misinformed, unaware, hypocritical. They even call each other liars.
I have to ask. How can the truth be so inharmonious? How can the truth have so many versions and variations as to create such conflict?
I believe their version of truth is man-made. I believe their truth is not of you because I don’t think confusion and discord is of you. I believe their version of truth cannot be trusted.
But, I’ve got to say: I’m still trying to find a description of the rules and laws I’m supposed to be following in order to be the kind of person I’m designed to be. Where did you hide these rules and laws?
Furthermore, if the consequences of not following those rules and laws are so dire, isn’t it a bit unfair for you to hide them from us?
Maybe there aren’t any rules or laws set forth by you. Maybe all the rules and laws are man-made by people who want to control other people.
Maybe you are just a blob of dumb and blind energy from which the universe exploded. Maybe you have no independent, intelligent thought. Maybe you have no awareness of my existence. Maybe I’m wasting my breath talking to you.
Yet, I can’t believe that, either. I can’t believe my soul and my brain and my body were accidentally created from an explosion. Someone with an unfathomable ability to generate the spark called ‘life’ had to have designed all this on purpose. We are simply too wondrously built to have been a chance creation.
So, where are you? How do I get to you?”