“Hey, God,” I yelled, angrily turning off the radio. “Are you aware there’s a large, huge, ginormous number of people down here using the Bible to control and hurt people? They’re yanking it around. They’re managing to make it say hateful things.”
“Yeah,” God said.
“Well,” I said, after waiting to see if God might want to elaborate. “Well. Could you step in here? I mean, they’re doing some real damage. You would not believe it.”
“Yes, I would,” God said.
“So, what gives? How can they do that? How can you let them? Somehow, they’re ignoring the basics, drilling down on obscure things, acting like know-it-alls. They’ve gone after gay people, and women, and brown skins, and they adore rich people, excusing all sorts of crap that you wouldn’t like. And acting like they don’t have to love anyone but themselves, and like it is okay to hate.
“Are you jealous?”
“What? No. Are you nuts? Fuck no. Hell no. I’m like that Psalmist. I only hate those who hate you. I want to chop off the heads of their babies…” I was being as sarcastic as I could possibly be.
God began to materialize, and she wasn’t in the best mood. She shook her head, and removed her hairpins, so her long thick mane fell to her waist. Her black eyes blazed. “Don’t do that,” she said, her voice stern. “You know better.”
“How?” I snapped back. “How do I know better, huh? There’s ugliness everywhere, and contradictions, and things that don’t make sense, and impossible commandments that no one even attempts, but then they try to defend things like capital punishment, and war, and they lord it over others. And forgiveness? Ha! And humility? Give me a break. And Mercy? Justice? Truth? Not a chance. It’s just greed and fear, greed and fear. We’re humans. By definition, we kill each other.”
God could see I was pretty wound up, so she waited and let me spew it all out. I ranted a bit more, but gradually grew calmer. She motioned for me to sit down, which I did, reluctantly.
“Honey, you’ve been reading with your eyes again, trying to fight judgement with judgement, fire with fire. Hunting for convincing words—written words—strokes of ink on paper. Screaming for answers in an answerless world.”
Oh, this made me crazy. I leaped up and grabbed for her hair. It turned to water. I drank. Her beautiful body turned to rain. I bathed. Through the clear water, I could see my heart, beating. I could see what was written there. In the profound silence of her absence, I could hear the tender whisper of this one small life I am trying to live.