During times of great stress, we humans tend to rethink our place in the Universe and whether or not there’s truly someone in charge.
I’m doing that right now.
Is there really a benevolent overlord somewhere up in the sky pulling the strings that make us all dance and waiting for us to fuck up so he can doom us to eternal damnation? Or is this presence a comforting one that lacks power but makes up for it with endless compassion?
Or is there nothing but a universe full of empty wishes and hopes?
I get on Facebook and the religious among my acquaintances love to post about how wonderful their god is. How merciful and powerful. That’s great for you who lucked up and got an easy life. But when I get called to the neonatal intensive care unit and see yet another baby going through drug withdrawals because he or she was unfortunate enough to have been born to an addicted mother, I doubt the power and mercy of that god of theirs.
I wonder about a god that depends on the likes of me, overworked and overwhelmed, to ensure that kids are safe, because he’s too busy answering the prayers of high-paid sports figures and gun enthusiasts.
Was a god looking out for those kids who last night witnessed a man, perhaps their father, beat the shit out of their mother? Is a god there for those kids whose mothers and fathers are using them as pawns in their nasty divorce battles, and through their bitterness cause their children great emotional harm? Where is this god of yours for them? Oh yeah, he’s too busy laying up in some church listening to a mother pray her kid chooses to become a doctor instead of a musician.
I have come to believe that faith in a god is much like everything else in this world: class-based. If you are poor or in misery, it’s because you didn’t believe hard enough, or pray the right way. And if you’re living a comfortable life, it’s because you did, whether you tried to or not.
For those of you who are offended that I dare second-guess a belief that you hold more dear than anything else, I ask you to give up a moment of your precious god’s time and ask him to do something besides listen to you. I’ve got some kids that could use his or her help right now. And I think their need is a bit more dire than your need to get a good parking spot.
In the meantime, I’ll suit up and go to work, because I’m really not expecting anything to change.
(photos used found on wikipedia.com)