God left in the evening again. He’s doing some shift work and right now, he’s on nights. I watched him pull out, his hands gripping the wheel, his ragged head tipped forward, determined. Frustration burned in my soul and I wanted to scream. Night shifts are not good for anyone, especially when the company flips people back and forth every five days or so. In the next life, I hope God’s experience with this kind of work insures that no one has to give up their pleasant, warm, cozy bed and venture into the cruel, cold darkness to earn their way along. But the next life, who knows? God plays that one close to the vest.
It’s been hard to resist talking politics with God lately, but he’s too tired. Luckily, we’ve covered a lot of this ground at other points in our relationship. One time, when I was honestly considering whether abortion was wrong, and if so, whether society should take the choice away, God grabbed my attention. We were standing under an apple tree (true story) in early fall, and of course, apples are a result of a fertilized seed, and they were lovely. But each apple also contained a lot of fertilized seeds. And the weeds I hadn’t quite gotten pulled had an astounding number of fertilized seeds in fragile snowy circles, and the juicy tomatoes, and the tender corn. Fertilized seeds everywhere.
There are millions more fertilized seeds than could or should be brought to fruition in both the plant and animal worlds. This fact slammed me alongside the head. “Hey God,” I said. “They wouldn’t all fit, would they?”
All things fertilized are not meant for fruition. And bean sprouts are sprouts, not beans.
And humans have frontal lobes and consciousness. We anticipate the future, analyze the past, and make choices that greatly affect those around us. Some of our current choices might determine if human life can continue on this generous, bodacious earth. That’s how much choice God gives us. If there was ever a god who endorsed choice, it’s you, isn’t it God?
I said all this to God. I was not struck by lightning. Instead, the enormous responsibility of love descended on my shoulders. Mercy, not judgement. Justice, not expediency. Humility, not insistence. Wisdom, not rigidity. There are times when a pregnancy should not continue. This is a private matter. Usually painful and difficult. God’s warm lap and huge comforting arms are available, but not required.
In the soft humus of rotting leaves, I sat under the tree and ate my way around the worm holes in a crisp, tart apple. I raked up the bruised windfalls and gently put them in the compost where they’ll decompose—their essence a sweet scent, rising off the altar of endlessness, where Alpha and Omega play fearless, holy, circle games, propelled by joy.
This apple seed revelation was decades ago. I’ve still not been struck by lightning. I still wear the mantel of love, wrapped tight. God still turns to me, and me to God. In fact, I have some warm bread ready for when he stumbles home, and a darkened room where he can rest, undisturbed.