Dear God V

sad-angel-1Dear God, it’s me again and I have a small bone to pick with you this morning. I am certain you must be exhausted now with all the terrible down here, but if you could just take a minute or two, I think I can convince you we are worth saving. I know it seems as if we are intent upon our own destruction, determined to extinguish all that is good and raise up the worst within us. I look around and see this every single day. Nevertheless, I also see much that is good, much that is worthy of saving. I know, God, I know it is hard to forgive the terrible that lies within us, the horrible that continues to rise up and tear us apart, given even the smallest of openings. Yet, God, I believe there is so much that is good. If we simply crack that door, there will be a great awakening and the good will prevail.

Dear God, I am not saying that rising up will not be without pain and great upheaval. We are a nation founded on some terrible acts that, even today, we cannot bring ourselves to recognize and embrace as our real history. Many in this nation find it impossible to accept their ancestors’ acts, from genocide, slavery, Japanese internment, Jim Crow, Redlining, and all the other horrific crimes against humanity and nature. In stunning acts of ignorance and denial, entire swaths of our nation continue to worship at the feet of bronze statues of traitors and fly the flags of the losing side in a Civil War fought to preserve the enslavement of human beings.

Dear God, it is difficult sometimes to look at my fellow citizens with compassion. We need your help; we need your healing. No matter the outcome in a few days, angry people will likely take to the streets. This nation can’t take much more without implosion. Already armed citizens are claiming to be keeping the peace or supporting the police, depending on who you ask. Others march for peace, demanding an end to violence against their sons and daughters, and now they too are armed to protect themselves. God, we need peace and compassion; things are going badly down here.

Dear God, a pandemic sweeps our nation taking more of us each day and our leaders laugh at our sorrow. More of our families slip into poverty meme-the-invisibility-of-poverty-2every single day. Our leaders prance off on unearned and undeserved holiday, paid for by us. They laugh and joke at our misery, knowing they have created this maelstrom. Acts of brutality are committed in our streets, so many of us are numb. We turn away rather than be outraged; we blame the victim, searching for justification. We grow heartless because our leaders are heartless. We grow numb because we are full up and hopelessness seems to be all that is left for us.

Dear God, I want to believe we are not the terrible. We are not the White Supremacists, the Boogaloos, the Militants and Militias infecting our cities and our media today. I want to believe they are an aberration and will fade back into their hills, hollows and caves. But God, this time, I think it will take more; they are greater in number and have infiltrated all walks of life. We cannot ignore their toxicity; thinking they are not worthy of our attention, we turn a blind eye while they burn down our cities or plan government officials’ kidnapping and execution. They are the greatest danger to our recovery; they are the greatest danger to our children’s future. Our leaders create the great distraction pointing anywhere but there, to anything else but them despite their own Intelligence stating clearly this is the greatest threat.

Dear God, there is nothing down here that can’t be fixed with some willingness to reach across these great divides we have created. There is nothing we cannot repair; even the depth of the current divide can be bridged with perseverance and will. We are losing our perspective, God; we are losing sight of who we are and who we can be. We have failed our fellow citizens; our brothers and sisters are nearly lost to us due to our own acts of violence, whether direct or indirect. We have much to make up for.

Dear God, you probably think I am wearing rose-colored glasses with all my trying to convince you we can fix what has been so terribly broken. God, I shattered_glass_portraits_tbelieve there are enough good people, enough fair-minded people, enough willing people that with some time and focus, we can fix this and even make it better. I know we are terribly fragmented today; it seems we are almost irreparable in our brokenness. We chose the lines in the sand we have drawn that divide us today. We can choose to rub them out just as easily; it is a choice. It will only take a few to cross the great chasm of fury currently occupying our time, our minds and our hearts. This terrible fury taking over our nation is destroying us all.

Dear God, if you are there, touch enough of us and lift this fugue. Remind us the good we are capable of even as we remind ourselves of our imperfections and begin the work of building toward the promise of a better, more equal nation. God, I know how we got here. This wreckage is forty years of concerted effort, planning and nearly perfect execution to create an illiterate and angry population. Look where we are God, even those who claim to know and love you are filled with fury and hate; they no more represent your Son and his teaching than Lucifer did in the first temptation of Eve. Dogged determination and a willing population though got us here, to this crossroads. Will we fall the rest of the way, or will we prove we are not the terrifying and terrible we seem to be.

Dear God, I believe we can fix what is broken. Give us a chance to look forward, and I believe there are enough good men and women who are willing to try. I know we are broken and habitually, we fall from grace, yet I believe there are enough with compassion, empathy and eyes open to the truth. Do not allow what is the worst in us win this battle for our nation’s soul, Please God, from me.

Dear God, IV

LindaDear God, I haven’t checked in for a while and have to point out things are getting worse down here since our last chat. I don’t think there is anyone down here that will measure up to Job, Noah, Lot, or others from ancient days, just in case you might be looking. Times were simpler, the choices perhaps more black and white. We do not seem to have heroes in our midst these days and the ones we do have are not universally lifted up as they once were. God, I don’t think this is an issue of nuance but rather just a sign of how far we have fallen.

Dear God, you and I talk every single day. These letters are to help me address the things I think shatter us as a people. They are to make a more public stand and be more vocal in my entries to you. Yes, I know much of what I say to you in my letters are broadly spoken. I try not to be too pointed in my placing blame at the feet of the humans I believe are at fault for much that is wrong today. But God, you and I both know the terrible we see is growing exponentially every single day. The violence is expanding, fires are burning hotter both in the cities and in the souls of our people. Those who claim to speak in your name are turning their backs on your word and those in the greatest need in favor of what can only be described as evil.

Dear God, it seems we have not found the bottom of the abyss yet. We keep falling, tumbling further down into the darkness. Shouldn’t there be a bottom? Are we all misidentifying what is happening right now as evil? Is this just the standard everyday ‘bad’ and evil is what is awaiting us? God, I have to tell you I don’t think we are ready for anything worse. Corruption, plagues, catastrophic storms and just plain old human meanness, this is all just taking the heart out of most of us. When you combine this with the terrible isolation, ongoing lack of work and families facing eviction, hunger, and the unrelenting deprivation of so many in our midst. I think we are on the brink of devastation and when I look around God, I see some people cheering it on as they did in Rome during the Gladiator Games. It seems we are both a failed nation and a failed people.

Dear God, what is going to happen to us? I am grateful, my family continues to be safe and secure. Most of those I love continue to be safe and secure, though some have lost jobs and are struggling to keep body and soul together. I am afraid though, afraid for all of us. I think we are all at a loss for what to do next. People we know are sick, even dying and we cannot lay them to rest or grieve them. Our friends and family are losing jobs, losing homes and we cannot help them; we are also without a sanctuary to offer in these terrible times. God, I am frightened. Not just my typical afraid, but genuinely terrified of what will happen to us as a people. I have been watching as our humanity seems to be slipping further away, our empathy and compassion disappearing from our emotional make-up. Is it just me?

Dear God, I believe there is a lesson to be learned in all this; I simply don’t know what it is. When this plague started, I laughed and said it was made for people like me. I thought to myself in the beginning, this is an Introverts paradise. When this began, I laughed each time someone asked me if I was okay in my home alone all day; of course, I was better than okay.   Then I was furloughed, and the days grew much longer with no focus and no outside human interaction. I realized many things about myself in those first long months. God, you gave me the personality I have and the strengths I have. I will be forever grateful for these gifts; without them, I would not have made it this far in life. Those strengths created a terrible wall though, I trained everyone around me that I didn’t need them, that I was good without regular interaction or communications. I have learned a powerful lesson in these six months of being truly alone, I am an Introvert, not a Hermit. Even true Introverts can suffer loneliness, and it can be spiritually crushing.

Dear God, I don’t often talk to you about me personally; I just assume you know. These days though, well, I have to ask you could you look down and just push things along. It is not my intention to add to the cacophony that must be constant for you and I know compared to the needs of others, mine are so minor.  God, I simply need work and security. I am sure I could have done better over the years; I will fall on my sword and acknowledge my failures to you; I spend so much time beating myself up I am sure you are as aware of them as I am. I hope though part of my failure was in my generosity to others, my willingness to help even when I had little myself. Now, at the end of my productive life, I simply need one final opportunity to rebuild. So, God, I know this is a selfish ask, but if you wouldn’t mind, please provide the extra push to finally be working again before I lose everything and have nowhere to go. It is truly my only ask, the rest of what I dream of for myself I will work on for myself and if you see fit to add those blessings to my end of days, I will, of course, be grateful.

Dear God, if you could, please look into our hearts and help us all see the brilliance that could be against the darkness that is. Help us to come together and begin to build together. Not rebuild but to indeed seek what is best in us and to build what is needed for us to progress as a people that understand the need to do better. God, these nearly four years has been a reckoning for many of us, one we sorely needed. For some, it has torn the scales from our eyes, and we have had to acknowledge our own weaknesses and faults. For others though, it has been a time where they have celebrated their release from social restraints and the very worst of their instincts have emerged. Today we are a nation divided by politics, culture and class. The difference between this and the last time is our leadership is driving the wedge further and encouraging the violence.

Dear God, I hope you have a plan. I and so many others are fearful of what November will bring, no matter the outcome. Every Allie is against us and every border closed to us. We are caught.

Dear God, III

Dear God, it is getting pretty awful down here and I think you might be ignoring us. Have you finally had enough of our pettiness? I know so many of us are acting like children with our favorite toy taken away. Unfortunately, our favorite toys can kill and I think we need more than a nudge in a better direction if we are going to save ourselves and the world. God, I just don’t see it getting better soon; do you?

Dear God, it doesn’t seem like we know how to talk to each other. I don’t know that we ever really knew how to talk to each other without the veneer of ‘polite’ society, but that veneer has cropped-1960-lindabeen ripped away. Now what we have is fury, hurt feelings and offended people everywhere. You can’t turn on the television or read the news without hearing about it, you know what ‘it’ is, right?

Dear God, I have to tell you right now I am gutted my heart stuttering, barely finding a rhythm each morning to lift me out of my bed. Though I try to find those moments to gladden me, to raise me up and thus offer up to you my gratitude, it becomes ever more difficult the longer this goes on. I think I and so many others have terrible sensory deprivation and we shrink ever inward. God, I think we need you to give us a path out of this, show us the way or we will lose ourselves. Truthfully, what we hear from these TV fakes, they are terrible and those of us with discerning hearts we know they are not speaking in your name yet so many are listening to them it is terrifying.

Dear God, I am afraid. I know many of us are scared right now. Certainly, you hear from people you haven’t heard from in decades beseeching you for help, money, jobs, maybe even salvation, and a host of other things right now. Likely you feel like Santa Clause at the mall with children lined up to sit on your lap and give you their wish list. I am sure the “Oh God” prayers sent your way every single day sounds like a cacophony rather than the pleasing sound of true worship.

You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. James 4:3 ESV

Dear God, it is terrible and terrifying down here right now. I have watched friends turn into enemies at the drop of a misplaced word. I have watched fools say stupid things and bring low entire communities. I have watched children die for nothing and not a word be said, not a word. I have been crushed reading the words of those I thought I knew, sometimes even loved as they repeated the bigoted tropes from one side or the other, accused me of merely trying to ‘fit in’ angelweep2when I simply act on my conscience. God, I don’t think my moral philosophy has changed even in the midst of these trying times; how, though, do I remain detached and not take personally all these terrible over-simplifications and attacks coming from ‘friends?’

Dear God, it is growing more lonely by the day. People are becoming meaner without the ability to touch, I think we are learning physical touch is vital to our very humanity. People are losing their connection to one another, forgetting we are, in truth, part of one great, diverse and beautiful family. We may not always agree, hell we all too frequently do terrible things to each other for petty reasons. But, now God, we are so very disconnected from each other we are forgetting even those we claimed to love, nevermind the stranger on the street. I fear what and who we will be when this is over. So if you wouldn’t mind a nudge is all I am asking, just a reminder for those who can still hear your voice. I fear those who can’t hear you it will require something far more calamitous and I don’t think we could bear that right now.

Dear God, II

tears_of_sadnessDear God, I guess you missed the part, last time we talked, about the general fuckery down here and thought you would allow us to continue without intervention just to see how far we could go. I am not at all sure we can withstand much more without a gentle reminder from you of our humanity. A gentle nudge maybe to push us back over toward a kinder and gentler way to be. Truly, things are pretty grim right now and all of us seem to be falling apart. You can see the seams tearing; you can witness us losing our compassion for one another in our race to prove the righteousness of our various causes. I fear for all of us and what we will become if the scales do not fall from our hearts and souls soon and we do not embrace each other soon in our shared humanity.

Dear God, sometimes it is the small things that touch me. Do they affect you too? I think they must and that is why you allow us to continue in our ridiculousness. There are days I skim the news and think humanity is growing more horrible, more depressing and depraved every single day then something wonderful will grab my attention. Maybe it is the story of the child who, on his own, delivers lunches to shut-in elderly people in his neighborhood. Or the story of the bus stops in Utrecht that are now bee shelters. Sometimes it is something as simple as watching cats stalk squirrels in the front yard, just knowing they are never going to catch them, it makes me laugh. These small moments remind me the darkness I feel is not complete yet, you must see we are not entirely unredeemable too, or you would have turned your back by now.2-these-bus-stop-roofs-are-now-tiny-parks-for-bees-813x457

Dear God, so many of your past heroes were imperfect from Abraham to David to Paul; each had their devils. Yet even with their imperfections, their weaknesses, they found their way to redemption and forgiveness. How can we not do the same? What is it in our psyche that prevents us from seeking out the kindness, empathy and compassion we once defined ourselves by? How is it we have allowed a minority to say, we will not be that and we have sat by impassively and permitted terrible acts of inhumanity to be carried out in our and even your name? Oh, I know we have much to make-up for, much that does not speak well of us as a nation or a people. But God, I think many of us want to turn the tide, is it too late for us?

Dear God, I am not doing as well as I thought I would be with this entire isolation in place thing going on down here. In fact, it is challenging to be alone all the time for this long. I know when you sent my soul into my body from the Chamber of Guf, you placed the need for alone into my spirit so I could recharge, create and rebuild. I understand you created a warrior within me to better overcome the challenges you would place before me. I may at times rail against you, well to be clear over the years I have protested against you, blamed you and turned my back on you. But always I return, always bend my head and still, I seek your grace.

Dear God, someone asked me the other day if I thought the reason I did not hold onto love was I chose the wrong people to love. I have not ever chosen who to love; I have loved who was placed before me and have loved them as my heart directed. Never once in my long life have I withheld love, though I have always held my secrets. I think you place in my path those who need to be loved without conditions or judgment, knowing I will give this love easily. Then, when it is time to let go, so broken spirits are less 20ab55a5576cffe1dce94c2fc4b236b0fragmented, I do this also. Leaving only my own heart in tatters and one more secret to keep. God, I am weary. I have loved enough who are broken and cannot love me in return. I have mended enough spirits and taught enough lessons in unconditional love. Maybe in these last years, we could make an even trade, perhaps you could put someone in my path who isn’t broken and might value me equally if you wouldn’t mind.

Dear God, I have to be honest with you on one final point and it is a selfish one. All my life I have worked hard, never asking for anything and never relying on anyone. I have paid my way and the way of many others. Please God, I only want to work, not be diminished in these last years of my productive life. I want to be able to do what I love, be paid fairly for that work and make contributions as I am able. I hate to beg for something so selfish. I know there are millions just like me today and as a nation, we have seen a crashing down of so much. So I know I am being selfish and self-centered when I ask you to please have mercy, let me return to work and save myself.

I know you must be inundated with prayer right now, God, likely from many you haven’t heard from in decades. I hope they are real and genuine prayer. I hope they are from prayer rooms and not pulpits. I will keep sending you these in the hope they blend into the cacophony, and some move you.

Dear God

Dear God, I would make an ugly corpse, I always wanted to be a beautiful corpse, so this is just one more thing on my list of questions I will have to ask when we meet. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, I wonder if today is the day we will meet face-to-face. There are mornings I think maybe today I will accelerate that meeting. Don’t frown, God, I know you don’t approve this thought, but it is hard out here and there are days it is harder than I think I can bear.

Dear God, yesterday a stranger wanted to ‘school’ me on life, politics and relations between the races, the genders and all other things none of his business with regard to my understanding. I am uncertain why he decided I was a good target, but it appeared he needed one and he actively vented his overactive spleen. The outcome being ultimately my loss of patience and temper. Why, though, would a perfect stranger seek me out for the sole purpose of trying to make me ‘less than’? I thought about this after I eliminated his ability to communicate with me, yet it was still on my mind this morning.

Dear God, I know there is light even in the darkest times. I am genuinely working on finding that light, every single day I wake up and the first thing I do is look for those things I am grateful for so I am able to begin the day on a high note. Some days the only thing I can write down in that journal I keep, ‘I am grateful I didn’t have a seizure last night and don’t have to change the sheets this morning.’ God, I know there should be more than this, but these days it is harder than you know to find more. Some nights as I prepare for bed, I wonder what would happen if I stopped taking the medicine that prevents my seizures, not just stopped that night completely stopped. How long would it take for the seizures to start again? A week, a month or would they never start and this angry-godwould be another miracle cure you burdened me with that I never asked you for.

Dear God, I am continually astonished by the fuckery this pandemic has brought out in so many of us. I think this hasn’t changed us, instead, it has merely brought to the surface what has been there, within us all along. Whether it is our bad attitudes, our inherent laziness or our entitlement, all of this is emerging and making us smaller and uglier. I watch and it makes me sad that people I know and love are lashing out, acting out and generally behaving badly. It makes me wonder why I didn’t see this before. I think it would be easier if we could simply sprinkle a little kindness and compassion across the world at a time like this; instead, it seems we have thrown selfish and ‘all about me dirt’ to see where it will stick.

Dear God, this isn’t what I thought my life would be. You have brought me through so much, through so many trials. I somehow thought if I was patient, worked hard and continued to seek grace, learn kindness, act with compassion and yes, even extend forgiveness, I would find peace, happiness and also love with companionship. What I wasn’t expecting is this, fear, loneliness and solitude. I wasn’t expecting this complete lack of relevancy. I wasn’t expecting this escalation of physical pain with no support, no help and no expectation of relief. God, I wasn’t expecting to be facing the rest of my life alone, without a helpmate, a travel mate, a dinner mate and frankly a bed mate. Was this your plan? Can I tell you honestly, your plan sucks.

Dear God, I know I should not question you yet; there is so much in this world worth questioning right now. I learned when I was young; you work in mysterious ways, I understand. Maybe the world needed a big hammer and this is it. I also learned man (and woman) have free will and not all things are your will, but rather, they are the Hands_of_God_and_Adamoutcome of our acts. Yes, I can see the hand of man in this terrible pandemic that is scouring the world today. But God, I wake every morning and I wonder where is your hand and some mornings I have to admit are much harder than others. I have to ask, are you sitting and watching all this and weeping along with us?

Dear God, I would make an ugly corpse you and I both know it. Some days this is the only thing that keeps me going. Other days it is the heroes, the acts of random kindness I witness and the reminders that I love others in this world enough to stay and watch their lives unfold. Some days are so hard I cry myself to sleep. Other days flowers and chocolate arrive from a child not of my blood but of my heart, reminding me life is a gift of endless possibilities. God, I am not hopeless or helpless yet, but my journal of gratitude needs new entries beyond just waking in the morning a bit of intervention on your part would be most welcome about now.

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