Recently two people have asked me questions about my beliefs about God. One was asking by phone and one at the dinner table in a crowded restaurant. Each question and hesitant answer brought on another question and even more hesitant answer. My partner began inserting her beliefs and I had a moment to reflect before answering the next spate of questions.
I am struggling with my answers about God. Oh, hell, I’m struggling with my questions about God. Some days I don’t even know where I doubt or why I question, only that I do. Like anger, doubt is probably a cover for fear or pain. And, I certainly have my full share of doubt and anger, and fear and pain lately. I also have the huge sense that I am not in control of my life, and I seriously fear that God is not in control either. Though I believe firmly that God is with me; I want to know who is running the show and what act we’re in. Will the entrance cue be properly given? Will the props be in place? Is my costume okay? Will we all remember our lines?
No, no, that’s not it. There are no lines. The props are whatever you find. No one knows when the entrance cue is – only trust that you will recognize it. No director has put us through our paces. No one is in the light booth and the sound may or may not work.
This is a metaphor for the sense of being lost that I have. My medical condition leaves me wondering each day if I will be able to do anything or if I will not. And, no doctor can answer why I am not getting better. On doctor days, I seem to breathe okay and, although I tire easily, they cannot know (and I sometimes forget to tell)of the nights when I cough until I feel as though I will never breathe again. The inhalers consumed, the steam sucked in, the tea drunk, the antihistamine taken – finally being able to breathe again. It’s very scary.
And, I panic. So, what do I know about God right now. I know I’d be truly over the edge if I didn’t believe that God was with me – knowing my hurt, knowing my panic. But, do I believe that God could or would intervene? I don’t know. I pray. I believe that praying has some power somehow even if only to clear my mind.
Do I believe in the bodily resurrection? Well, sure, that’s what I confess in every church service in the Creeds. But, how can I know, and I’m not really very concerned with what happens after I die, but whether or not I’m going to breathe okay today. If I have to come back in this body, well, thank you, I’d rather not. Give me a different set of problems, please.
So, what is the purpose of Jesus? Naw, I was asked, “Do you believe in Jesus?” Yes, very definitively yes. I believe that Jesus was God become human who wanted to know what it was like to be this thinking creation with free will and why making good decisions was so difficult. I believe that the Incarnation of God is the most important piece of salvation. God proved to us humans that we are loved and cherished. God proved to us that we could have a relationship with the divine being – the Other – the uncreated beginning.
That’s why I think that God is with me, and that’s how I get through each day.