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The Invisible God

Peacewriter contributor St. Jude sent another thought provoking commentary our way this week. in this latest piece, she questions just where god has been while devastation and terror have rained down on his children the world over.

Sometimes I wonder if it has been so long since God Himself was mortal that He has forgotten what the experience is like for the rest of us.

Sometimes I wonder if God has grown tired of being God and chosen to just walk away and let us self destruct while He busies Himself on a new project. One less complicated than this one turned out to be.
We make ourselves feel better with cliché’ phrasing like “God’s hands are our hands.” But we all know that our hands aren’t sufficient enough or quick enough to stop the dying that will happen today, and tomorrow…
While Japans nuclear reactors melt down we don’t have the knowledge or capacity to stop it. And yet we tell our children God can do anything.

Churches, mosques, temples, alter, shrines… all send up daily prayers pleading for help, comfort or direction. Millions claim to receive answers. While millions go unheard. God helped Mrs. Brown get her cat out of a tree. Too bad about the Jones boy, he was so young.

We joke “If God is all powerful can he microwave a burrito so hot that not even he could eat it? But is it possible that God created a world with problems so big that not even He can save us?
Sometimes I wonder if He ever regrets making that promise to never flood the Earth again. But then I remember that the second time around he plans on burning it to stubble.

Our God appears to hide in ambiguity, scriptures that seem to contradict themselves, and men left to decide on behalf of others what He is trying to tell us. Nothing is clear. And yet He warns us not to trust in the arm of flesh. Wars are waged over differences in belief of who God is and how to worship Him. So who’s side is God on today? People He could save from destruction He hides from for fear of revealing His true loving nature to save us. Why, so that we will have faith that He is all powerful and all loving, kind, and worthy of worshiping for eternity?

Faith has become more important than risking an actual miracle where thousands are saved and there is no room for doubt that God revealed himself to intervene on our behalf. At what point do we trade in faith for something we can truly believe in and walk away from a God who couldn’t be bothered to take a more active role in the lives of His children? And how could a loving God judge harshly the children who do. I still believe there is a God, that’s illustrated throughout this script by the fact that I still capitalize all the Hes, Hims and Gods. If I’m being honest it’s more out fear than respect. I can’t help but still hold out for miracles, but I won’t hold my breath. Unless I’m living in an area of Japan where the air I breathe is filled with radiation.


lifelongguy said...

Indeed, I long ago stopped holding hope for miracles (and my breath).

Excellent piece.

diogenes said...

St. Jude,

Exactly! Your observations lead many of us inexorably to Deism.

Who is God and what is He really like? Does he intervene? Can he? Do we make stuff up to explain the good and bad? I still believe in Jesus of Nazareth. It is in his very "failure" and submission that the victory is gained over death and the atonement made effective IMO. I believe he was telling us something about the real nature of God. He came and cried out as we do: "Father why hath thou forsaken us." We need a creation of a much deeper and wholesome understanding of God and his nature and not the "arbitrary and capricious" one we have created as we have taken his name in vain. It begins IMO with the honest deconstruction of what He is not or should not be as you described. If God is indifferent or worse arbitrary and at time malicious then he is only to be feared but merits no respect or honor. I just think there must be another way to "know" him. I think Jesus's life and submission even unto failure opens the door of understanding. that is my hope at least.

Leah said...

Reminds me of this song by Shakira. (Translation isn't perfect, but gets the idea across.)

diogenes said...

I hear ya...I think God wants us to put Him on trial. Or rather put on trial our perceptions of Him or how we create Him in our own image---arbitrary and sometimes capricious. Somewhat related I had some similar thoughts when hearing all the "spiritual" commentary on Japan. I responded in my own way---perhaps a little biting satire/ push back but here it is:
I really was not intending to make an environmentalist statement but rather contend with those of faith that lay claim to God sending messages through destruction--a God that is far more malevolent then the Deist approach to God you are describing in part above.

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