Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Howling away

I was watching "Bruce Almighty" recently, even though I don't care for Jim Carrey. I hope I don't sound that whiny.

He compares God to a mean kid with a magnifying glass and the world is the ant hill. Even though he is dating Jennifer Aniston and can sit in any chair he wants.

We'll leave aside the Jennifer Aniston thing, though that should disqualify a human from complaining.

I was leaving work the other day through the lobby, the same lobby I have wheeled through for years. I passed some chairs that I have passed every day for a while. And I thought: "Wow, those look pretty comfy." They are just bench-like chairs with no arms, probably not that nice, but I wish I could find out first-hand.

I probably could transfer into one, but I don't imagine the company would be cool with a significantly disabled worker transferring for no need other than curiosity. If I fell, I might crash through the glass coffee table in front of the chairs. I'd almost be too embarrassed to collect workers comp. Almost.

Plus, Bruce has a bad time at a party because JAG-ette Catherine Bell hit on him. I went to a party tonight and also had a bad time. Unlike Bruce, my problem was I could hear so little. I may have been hit on and replied with something like: "Yes, my dog is great."

My beef with God, though, is not that he is a bully (again, I use the male pronoun for ease). And it is not really that he doesn't snap his fingers and cure me, although a miracle would make me awful pleased.

I think it is the lack of responsibility. I was taught to praise and thank God for good things, but you aren't told to damn him for bad things. And good certainly does not triumph over evil. Sure, maybe at the end of the world, but who has the time to wait?

I guess I see the world not as an ant hill but an ant farm. God set up this kick-ass world but now he is interested in aquarium fish not ant hills, so we survive as best we can without his help.

I know Mom and plenty of others know that God is very much a part of this world. I trust her, but my faith in God is less steadfast. I have trusted God and I still pray to get better, not to get worse, to watch over others, whatever. But I don't expect to be cured anymore or even not to get better, and no matter my prayers people are still hurt.

I know this is not new. I can search the Psalms for words like "abandoned" or "despair" and find something similar to what I am feeling. There were a lot of pissed-off Psalm writers around, especially the guy who wrote Psalm 88. He and I could trade notes, although I suspect he has it worse than I, sitting here in my heated condo, with an afghan Gram knitted on my lap, writing on a nice computer (even if it is a PC) and listening to iTunes.

"The Psalms give us a way to howl as well as to praise, permission to bewail the darkness, and permission to hold on to a vision of light," says religion professor Peter S. Hawkins.

I definitely howl. I praise and thank when it is due. I am a big bewailer, too. But holding a vision of the light? Not so much. I know I can: Permission is not an issue. But the visions don't come to pass – I don't walk or get the girl or even get to sit in the stupid lobby chairs. What good is it?


Anonymous said...

How come the only thing I can ever say to your writing is "oh, my dear boy"?

Matt said...

It's better than "suck it up, whiny bitch."

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