Dear God VI

sad-angel-1Dear God, it’s me again. I know it has been a few weeks, though I talk to you every single day. It seems there are more and more people in need of your attention, for succor, healing, help. I think you must have decided we are too needy, too loud and frankly too obnoxious, hypocritical and unworthy. Were I looking at things through your eyes, honestly, I would think the same thing. But God, I am pleading with you to turn around and reconsider your current indifference to our catastrophe.

Dear God, I am not angry. Well, perhaps a little bit angry, I will admit I try hard not to be. Every morning I wake from another restless night of tossing, turning and worry. Actually, not worry anymore it is now abject fear and night terrors, but no reason to quibble. I hurt everywhere and feel as if sleep has alluded me again. I try hard to remember to thank you for waking me, allowing me to see another day. I try hard to remember to write in my gratitude journal at least three things I am grateful for, even when gratitude is difficult to find. I do my morning absolutions before the day begins, reminding myself of the necessity though no one will see me, no one who will know if I skip a day. I do this not from habit but because I know these things will bring peace and give me a greater connection to the world beyond me, maybe even greater connection to you. But God, I have to tell you, with each passing day, it grows more difficult.

Dear God, I feel as if you want to bring us to the lowest point possible. I don’t know how much lower we can go. Is it that we rose so high? That as a nation, we were so arrogant, so prideful the fall is far? I know that it is terrifying and bruising for some of us as we fall along with the nation. Each day, there are so many of us that feel there is no further we can fall. Yet we wake in the morning knowing we have a bit further to go before hitting that lowermost rung and finally are at the bottom. We can see it, we might even be touching it, but we are not quite there yet. God, have you grown unsympathetic? I think you have; I think I would be too. But Lord, I look around me and all I see are the good falling with the bad, the innocent are suffering with the guilty.  Breadlines are growing, homelessness growing and children without access to schools growing—cities with escalations in violence, especially in homes and families losing everything trying to keep hearth and home intact for just one more day. God, can you hear their cries? Are you listening?

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Dear God, we are dying. It cannot be said much more brutally than this, can it? We are dying. Not just the loss of life, but our souls are withering, and hate is becoming the currency of our people. Your ministers are trading on fear and fury from the pulpit. Our elected officials are riding herd on the ugliest of human emotions, fear, bigotry, greed, envy and pride all wrapped into the flag and what polite society calls Nationalism. God, many of us are terrified. The country we love is ripping apart, and with it, the safety of laws and norms long understood, as imperfect as they were are tearing at the seams.  We watch friends and family turn away from us; we watch as neighbors suddenly become strangers. It is a terrible and terrifying time and without your hand I don’t think we can come back from this precipice.

Dear God, it must be hard for you to turn away from the pain you hear in our lifted voices. It must be challenging to sort out what is real and what is simply the vainglorious chatter of those who use your name for their own purpose. I think you are more discerning and determined if we are so ignorant after all this time to follow the false prophets and preachers, we deserve what we get.  I don’t really blame you for settling back and letting us sort out this mess for ourselves; I think I would do the same. I wish there wasn’t such a 681Oakbluffpersonal price for me to pay; I wish I wasn’t on the brink of losing it all. I wish I could find the lesson in all of this for me personally; maybe I will eventually.

Dear God, I try to always keep my personal desires, needs and wants out of my prayers. Every single morning I try to remember those who are in greater need and lift them up. I want to remind you of those I care for who need your attention and give you their names so if you have a blink of an eye, they will be touched. This isn’t because I am unselfish, I am human God, and you and I know this well. I admit I am not always successful; throughout the day, I entreat you to please, let me find new work, let me save my home, and help me save myself. It seems these have gone unheard, you have another plan and I simply don’t see it yet. So as the new year approaches, I am preparing to sell my house and let those things that make it home go. God, you have given me great gifts over my lifetime; thank you.

Dear God, one more thing. Thank you for showing the scientists and the medical community the way toward the vaccine. It seems soon we will begin to slow this plague and relieve some of this nation’s terrible pain.

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, 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.

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