Sunday, September 27, 2009

An Open Letter To God


Dear God,

How are you? I am fine. Just kidding.

I decided to write to you tonight instead of talk to you so that I can pin down a few issues that I am dealing with this week, and particularly today. So, on with the normal order of things: First,

Thank you for all of the talks and visits with my friends and family today. Thank you for my party last night. Thank your for my creative thinking today and for the tons of mental energy I had even though I felt physically tired today. Thank you for the phone. Thank you for my cats. Thank you for providing me the means to create financial stability for myself at this trying time. Thank you for so many other things I can't think to type right now. Thank you for my blog and for all the people that read it and find it at all thought-provoking, comforting, funny, or clarifying even if they disagree. Thanks for my fast typing speed. And on and on.

Second,

I am sorry that I had some negative thoughts and feelings today toward myself and others. I am sorry that I am not always an honest person. I am sorry that . . . hmm really that's it on my mind right now.

Third,

Perhaps you read my earlier post, you know, in your websurfing, and saw that I have this nagging question about heaven. I keep coming back to it, What about heaven? Not in a desire to go to heaven early, per se. I am not suicidal. I just am comforted by the idea of heaven, and want you to know that I have heaven on my mind a lot, and could use some guidance in my thought process re: heaven. I thank you for creating heaven and for overseeing it and for fielding my question among the billions you must get re: heaven.

The other thing I'm dealing with today is -- I am interested in this discussion of faith that comes up surrounding health, transplant, etc. However, in my interest in this discussion, I also have a really negative reaction to certain offers of faith. It seems that people think if I am talking about faith, it must mean that I have none - which of course I have a great deal of faith. Or people think that if I am talking without decisiveness about religion it must mean that I have no religion - which of course I have too many religions. I want to keep allowing the conversation to happen around me, but I also want to contain it. I struggle with this issue.

Because I am sick, it does not mean that someone else's religion will make be "better." I am not sick because I didn't follow someone else's religious decree. What is the best way to respond to people that step over the line from conversation about religion and faith to instructing of how my illness is created by a lack of their faith?

God, this is a definite "what would jesus do" type of question. I mean, seriously. What would he do? Perhaps he would say, "I thank you for your prayers," and ignore the rest of it? I don't know. I think there is an opportunity to say, "Thank you for praying for me, but I want you to know that I'm not sick because of "sin" and I already do believe in God." I mean . . .

Well you get what I mean. What do you think, big G?

And finally,

Thank you for tomorrow.
May the light within you, shine within me, and the light within me shine without. (C)MEP
CG

9 comments:

  1. perfectly well written...Thank you God for CG!

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  2. If you ever want to talk about how I navigate my way through my faith, God and my illness, I would love to do so....

    Ronnie

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  3. ditto what Ronnie said, although I'm admittedly in a less certain and probably messier place than I used to be, and than he seems to be in that department (I'm open to chatting with you too though, R! haha).

    And I too, thank God for you, and pray for you often. Hope that's not creepy.

    Jess

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  4. First, I'm so proud of you and the fact that you think and write so clearly. I wish I could do the same. I just wish you would not have to struggle with these issues as it hurts me to think they bother you.
    Second, God does not punish with illness. I do think he challenges people in different ways.
    Third, I would recommend you march into your parish and talk to your pastor about setting up a weekly group discussion of like minded and similar challenges, commonalities or just interest in examining Catholicism. These things that you raise should be talked out as well as Blogged out. A group verbal discussion of these issues multiplies the impact vs the written word.
    Fourth, please read Fr Jonathan Morris' "The Promise."
    CysticDad

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  5. Today was the Jewish day of atonement and I skipped it, sort of, because it is also a day to remember those we have lost, and I miss my brother so much right now that I could not quite bear that ritual. He was definitely not observant so there was no issue there. (This will be about you - I am getting there.) I felt bad good bad good about it, finally rested on acceptance and then I came home from my yoga class and read this.

    You have an innate gift for writing honestly and expressing thoughts that are universal yet specific to CFers. I am simply amazed at how much I learn from you, and I am quite grateful also. People who question things are naturally able to learn more, right? And people who are dogmatic, or project their beliefs onto you - without question - may never be open to the kind of discussion that you introduce all the time.

    Justa few ramblings from a Jewish admirer!

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  6. Hey CysticDad! My friend T-Money was complimenting your comments on the blog- thanks so much for writing them. And yes, it is unfortunate that I have so much on my mind- but please don't worry. I don't have this stuff on my mind in a sad, negative, cry in pillow kind of way. It's just stuff- on my mind- swimming around in there. Flip. Flop. :)
    CG

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  7. Hum, I guess XTC's "Dear God" song does not really fit in here...but you reminded me of that song for some reason. I like the song, but at the end, the child declares none belief.

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  8. I agree with Lucy. The people who project their personal convictions on you are probably not open to your level of discussion. Unfortunately, they are usually the ones who would benefit the most.
    While I'm not God, nor claim to be, I can share what I do when people project those types of claims on me. I usually say something like, "Thanks for sharing. However, I disagree. God didn't do this to my family but He did allow it to happen. In the end, He will get the ultimate glory, regardless of the outcome. Thanks again for your thoughts/prayers/input and I hope we can continue to have a healthy, informative dialog, in spite of our disagreements."
    Thanks for your honesty in sharing what's swimming around in your head. :)

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  9. Just wanted to say I really like your canned response to well-meaning (I think?) but dogmatic folks, Samuel's Mommee.

    Also, CysticDad is awesome, and creeps me out how much he reminds me of BreathSentenceDad. Which is fitting, seeing as how I feel like CysticGal is siphoning my brains and blogging them sometimes, albeit far more articulately, her thoughts are so similar to mine, down to the day. And now I'm commenting on her (your?) blog as if she (you?) is/are not "in the room."

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Thanks for commenting! Your comment will be posted ! -CG