Conversations with God
I don’t believe in God. I’ve tried and I just can’t get there. It is, I imagine, a leap of faith that is too great for me. I find it hard enough to trust humans so it makes sense I can’t leap far enough to trust something that I’ve never seen. I do believe there are powers greater than ourselves at work in the Universe. Whether they are simply nature or group consciousness, I don’t know.
I am drawn to the idea of a God and his angels in the same way I’m drawn to myths and fairy tales. I would like them to be true, and I love the stories, but I don’t actually believe. I do believe that the forces of good and evil exist and it would sure be nice to think there was some particular power fighting for good in the universe.
I truly wish I could believe in the God of others because I would like to believe there is a power to turn to when things get really bad. For me, there’s no one in a heaven to pray to whom I believe will actually help me out of the current jam I find myself in or take the grief and pain away from the loss of a loved one. For strength I rely on myself and the loving support of my friends.
I have said since I was young that if there is a God… SHE must be black. A rebel since birth it always went against my grain that everyone just seems to take it for granted that the power of the universe would take the form of a white male. (I’m sure I’m not the only young girl who grew up inside the Catholic culture and bridled against its male domination in a similar fashion.)
The truth is, however, whenever I think about God these days (which for a devout atheist is probably way more often than some would imagine) it’s always Morgan Freeman that I envision. I know — it’s not even an original image. Someone else figured it out already and cast him in the role, but he is who I see and hear even in my dreams. For is there another voice anywhere that can make you feel so completely safe just hearing its timber? His voice makes me feel as if I’m all wrapped up in a soft, cozy blanket and no harm can ever come to me. And the soul you see behind those eyes appears so honest and true. And he’s tall, and good looking, and strong, and calm and….oh shit…good thing I’m a non believer because I’m fairly certain that it would be a mortal sin to be sexually attracted to God!!!! (Luckily, I don’t believe in hell either!)
Often I do wish “the powers that be”, as I call them, had a face on the planet. Somewhere you could go to lodge your complaints and/or ask for forgiveness or sing their praises. Sometimes it would just be nice to ask a question and know someone heard it. So when I do have a question or two I want to pose I just have an imaginary conversation with my current god figure, Morgan Freeman.
I want to know, for instance, what happened with the whole male/female thing? Were we meant to be a completely different species? Or was it meant as a daily test of our communication skills or simply a joke on the universe?
And how can any parent walk away from a child? Ever? Or abuse one? Why is every little child on the planet not safe and cared for?
How is it possible you can love someone with all your might and they don’t feel anything in return?
Why is it that habits are so hard to change and that the majority of people on the planet struggle with the same issues their entire lives without ever being able to master them?
How amazing is it that one tiny infant can melt a heart that’s had a wall built up around it for years?
That one night the moon appears to shine more brightly and more beautifully than ever before?
That one simple wild flower can make you smile and forget your troubles for a moment?
Why do we have to age and why is it that by the time you figure out the important things you’re too old for it to do you any good anymore? Why are younger people unable to learn from your experience and forced to make their own mistakes?
Why is the strongest, smartest, most beautiful person you know the one who comes down with a painful, incurable disease? Where’s the justice in that?
And, what’s up with the comb-over? Do those men really think we won’t know they’re bald? Do they think it’s actually attractive?
Why is one woman who is a horrible parent able to give birth to six children who all end up confused and emotionally abused and another, who would be a nurturing mother, left infertile?
In these conversations it really doesn’t matter what my god Morgan says in response. Probably some platitude like, “Life is a journey and as with all journeys you will learn much along the way if you pay attention”. What matters is that he says it in that deep, warm, comforting voice that makes me feel safe and I realize it’s okay that I don’t know all the answers. Perhaps life is not meant to be completely understood, but simply lived.
July 10, 2011