God and I were talking about how much blame she endures. And flat-out rejection. I told her I felt bad about that. “No worries,” God said. “Rejection is my middle name.”
This was strangely reassuring. Sometimes, I feel defensive for God, and try to run interference. Not because God asked me to, but because I think everyone would be happier if some kind of meaning or hope descended along with the greedy abyss of the evening news. Hope and Meaning are some of God’s first names.
“So it doesn’t bother you at all?” I said.
“Nope,” she answered, but her voice had a slight catch in it.
I took her at her word. God rarely lies to me. “Okay, then,” I said. “But could you try a little harder to be visible? That would help.”
“Nope,” God said, an evil little smile curling her lips. “I’ve gone as far down that road as I’m going to go for now.”
I could see God had slipped into one of her moods. Arms crossed, she towered over me.
“Listen, God. This is not okay with me,” I said in a firm, parental voice. “You have no reason to be so stingy. You’re very, very lucky to be God, and even though we need help, you can be proud of what you’ve accomplished here, with us humans, I mean.”
The room darkened. I gulped but held on. “No. Seriously, you might not be aware of how much prodding and coddling and proof we need,” I said. “You may assume we’ve got it together, but basically, we still don’t.”
God’s eyes burned neon orange through the blackened air. “In no way do I assume humans have it together,” she said, voice dripping with sarcasm.
“Okay, then,” I said, still confident I knew who I was dealing with. “You need to make more of an effort to let people know.”
“Know what, exactly?”
I could see this was going nowhere fast. Why couldn’t I argue with God and get results like Moses? I shrugged and backed away.
God got bigger. “Let me tell you something,” she said. “There’s nothing you can know in the way you wish you could know.”
“Why not?” I said, as loudly as I dared. “Why not? What would it hurt for you to prove yourself once in a while?”
“Oh. My. God.” God said. “I could ask you the same thing. Could you just look around? Do you have a clue what I mean when I say I AM?”
“Yeah,” I said. “Well, maybe. But I have to endure a little nausea when my mind opens up that wide. And it gets lonely.”
God gentled down and gave me a knowing look. Layers and layers of skin dropped from her face. “Delight is temporary,” she said, her voice clear and inviting. “So is death.”
We were suddenly at the river. Her bones softened, her hair turned magenta and blew upward in the rising wind. Her body spread across the expanse, a sunset that welcomed the coming night. Oh, how I wanted something to grab onto. Something to own. Something to know. But what I had was water and sky, hunger and soul.