This is hard to admit, but it appears my attitude toward life is dependent on a good cup of coffee and whole wheat toast. These are bedrock to my salvation from the tedium of the known world. Sure, I enhance my attitude by conscious efforts and limiting my exposure to the news, but a morning bereft of sustenance takes me down the rabbit hole of despair.
God arrives on the frozen wings of this morning’s wind. I’m ready to confess. “God, I wish I were more resilient, but without coffee and food, I don’t think I believe in you.”
God laughs. “No worries, darling. I still believe in you, and so far today, I haven’t eaten a thing.”
“Fasting?” I said, trying to move the subject away from belief.
“Not exactly,” God said. “When you’re God, eating is complicated. Basically, I wait until I’m invited.”
At first glance, this didn’t seem like much of a problem. If you had a chance to have God over for dinner, why wouldn’t you? There had to be a trick. Invite God for dinner? Why not?
The reasons started rolling in. What would I serve? Would God want salad and dessert? The right silverware? In what form would God arrive? There it was. The central problem. God would come parading in as a stinky homeless guy with a dog. The dog would snarl. The guy might steal things. Or God could show up as a whole camp of refugees, big-eyed, big-bellied, unable to speak in a civilized tongue.
And it wouldn’t be a temporary visitation. That invitation could lead to discomfort and displacement. My bank account would dwindle, my security would be shaken. Even fortified with coffee, and a dark beer waiting, this was too hard for me. I have plans for Pad Thai take-out tonight. I don’t want to ruin this cozy vision by inviting God along.
“I can’t finish this toast,” I said. “I always make about half a piece too much. Would you like it?” Even this was hard to admit. Hard to offer.
God nodded and rocked quietly in our gliding rocker by the stone fireplace. Sure enough, the ugly, hungry, hopeless people began crowding in. God took the crusts and broke them, and broke them, and broke them. There was laughter. God and the children playing tag. God and the old women sharing my beer. God and the young men, admiring the weapons they no longer needed.
“Such abundance,” God said. “Such ingenuity. And with time, you’ll do even better.”
Even full of toast and coffee, I have trouble believing this. But I’m willing to try.