Saturday, June 5, 2010

My second conversation with God (no poker content)

I knew it was a bad idea the minute I hit "publish."

It was just a weekend thing, that's all. Just a way to pad a post for the weekend so I wouldn't have to worry about things until Monday at least. But I knew that I had drawn the attention of the Man Upstairs when, as soon as I hit "publish," they announced a tornado warning for all of Rhode Island.

Without a word I walked over to the screen door. And He was standing at the door as if He knew I was on my way. I opened the door and He looked around with a slight look of disdain. And unless I was mistaken, His manner was clipped and a little short, as if it were me that pissed Him off, instead of the other way around.

"This room is a sty," he said, "And you're looking at someone whose Son was born in a horsemanger."

"Cleaning people only do upstairs," I said, and motioned for Him to sit down.

"I'll stand," He said, and His tone was now unmistakably more hostile than in the past. "I don't know what I'd sit on in this shithole."

"You, um, You said "shit?" I asked, temporarily too off-put to stick to my agenda. "Would have never expected that."

"You humans give words power they don't deserve," God said. "It's stupid and it's unnecessary. Who is being hurt by the use of the word 'shit?' It describes excrement. You children have no idea how badly you've misused the gift of language. Like everything else I give you, I guess."

"You didn't come here, and threaten a million people with a tornado, to bitch at me about language. What do You want?"

"I should ask you the same question," He said. You've been sitting down here, ankle deep in squalor, poisoning your body, not even giving a moment's thought to anyone or anything around you, pushing away the people who are desperately trying to love you. Then in your insolence you reprint a story that was supposed to have been private. I can't have a story of my existence having been proven, by someone who.." - here he paused and looked at me with a combination of contempt and a certain ugly pity - "used to be a credible source."

"Have you given a moment's thought that this might be YOUR doing?" I asked, eyes flashing. "You haven't exactly handed me a decent hand lately. Remember two years ago? I was FINE before you took my father. And what for? Can you at least answer me that, you son of a BITCH?" I started yelling at Him and tears sprang to my eyes as I stood back up and advanced towards God. "What did he ever do besides make his way in the world, make a family, make a living, and mind his own business? No. And that's just one man. You took so many others. One guy you took, I bet You don't even know his name! Healthy as a horse all his life. You gave him liver cancer - gave him three weeks to say goodbye to his family. Does that make you feel powerful? Did we do something that somehow earned your punishment? Tell me something: Hace credam a deo pio? A deo iusto? A deo scico? Cruciatus in crucem! Eos in crucem!**   You want to know why I'm such a miserable excuse for humanity? It's because of YOU. YOU, you unfeeling, random, uncaring BASTARD!"

At this, God's demeanor softened, and the look in his eyes changed to kindly pity.

"I didn't take your father. I didn't take anybody. It was their time, My child. I know it hurts you very much. But blaming Me won't help you move on."

"The fuck it won't," I spat back. These are Your children, so this is Your society, right? You built this right in to the social construct. You PLANNED it so that the end product of love is pain. And don't give me any bullshit about that's how we treasure life. I treasured life just fine until You came along. And I don't treasure any damn thing now at all." I advanced nose to nose with God and started poking him in the chest. "Thanks to you."

"Your father was sick for many years, Child. Did you expect him to live forever? Would you even WANT that for him? Everybody dies. I gave him a good death, an honorable death. He died at home, where he wanted to die. He was active after his fashion to the end. How better to end an honorable life, even if his belief in Me was minimal?" He took a step away from me. "And yes, as you put it, the end product of love is indeed pain. I wish it weren't, but it is. Love is an incredibly powerful emotion - My greatest invention. Of course it's going to leave a void when it goes away."

"I don't care," I said, tears now streaming down my cheeks. "You have him, and I don't, so that makes you the bad guy here."

"My son, if you really believe that, I must leave here, and not come back."

I paused for a moment as I thought about how very important the next words out of my mouth would be.

"Get the fuck out of my house, and don't ever come back," I said, and turned my face away.


** Translation: Am I really to believe that these are the acts of a loving God? A just God? A wise God? To hell with Your punishments! To hell with You! From The West Wing episode "Two Cathedrals," written by Aaron Sorkin. No copyright infringement or disrespect intended. I've got my own tsores.


  1. Gary, what did I tell you about writing posts in more than 1 language?

    Very good post, although I don't think you should be using that kind of language with God. See what happened to me on Full Tilt?

  2. Thanks, honey. But if you're gonna give God what-for, you may as well do it in Latin.

  3. The ultimate in arrogance is expecting God to conform to your idea of right and wrong, don't you think?

    btw -- The Book of Job teaches us about God and punishment.

    And FTW -- "My son, if you really believe that, I must leave here, and not come back."

    Sorry -- that was not God. God does not turn his back.

    Better reevaluate. Seems like you are letting the Evil One (and I don't mean Waffles) lead you astray.

  4. "The Case For Faith" by Lee Strobel answered some questions for me about God (and loss) when I was in a similar place as you. When the time is right, grab a copy and see if it helps.

  5. The gift of faith is a wonderful thing; I wish sometimes I had it, but I don't.

    To believe that we would be reunited in a utopian afterlife would indeed take a huge burden off these tired shoulders, but I don't.

    My construction of God was done to give me something to rage at, to rail against. I don't believe in a deity of any kind.

    Far be it from me to call into question any man's faith in his God - having said that, I must say I bristle just a bit at your contention that my personifying God in my way is arrogant. I would never stoop so low as to suggest that your faith in God, being far different from what I believe, is in any way wrong. Please extend me that same courtesy.

    If you want to know my belief set, it is that religion and to a lesser extent nationalism are responsible for more bloodshed in the world than any other belief system in the history of the world, and that can't be good.

    But as long as we both keep open minds, we can still be friends, right?

  6. People generally can not discuss religion without someone bristling, right? No personal offense was intended.

    My point was that if there really is a God, he is beyond our comprehension. People, however, see him through their own personal prism, which is imperfect. Not just you -- anyone. Thus is the mystery of God.

    And although I can not be certain of this, I would bet that he likes the Blackhawks more than the Bruins.

  7. When I read the post my first thought was "Gary,who doesn't believe in God, sure seem to write about him often enough."

    I find that EXTREMELY interesting.

  8. @Josie - just a very convenient literary device, that's all.

  9. @Gary, Whatever gets you thru the night Babe.