A good friend of mine once asked me, “Are you mad at God?”
“No, I am hurt by God.” I shared.
The truth is that my mind is the thing leading this journey called faith. Intellectually, I don’t believe that we can prove God exists. Yet, my mind is the thing fixated on the truth of His existence, while my heart bleeds a whole different language.
Perhaps I was raised to believe God exists, indoctrinated from a young age. Perhaps if I hadn’t been, then I would think differently. Yet, even if all of my upbringing had been different, there are moments in which I have known my true nature – moments I believe would have happened in my life no matter the environment or the circumstance. Of those moments, too many are reflective of a deep sense in my being of wholeness and completeness that I don’t think are reflective of humanity’s capacity. In these experiences, my mind said, “There must be a God.” It is the thought to which I cling. Do I need a crutch? Probably, almost definitely. Some say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…
And so I believe.
The reverse is true of my heart. The moments in which I have not felt God are wholly and entirely the majority of what I have experienced in my life. The other small moments consist of two feelings. The first being abandonment. If God exists, then He most certainly has no interest in me. The second feeling is cruelty. If God exists, then He is cruel – instituting trials and suffering with the precision of a sprinkler. Sprinklers water the same ground repeatedly unless moved. God is not moved. He is sprinkling all of the suffering in one direction – mine. This is almost certainly a self-absorbed perspective. If I took one look around, then I would see that suffering is the universal equalizer – the commonality of suffering, as it is sometimes called.
The funny thing about suffering is that the universality of it does not make it easier to bare. My own suffering is not alleviated when I hear of other’s suffering. I am simply distracted by it. Sometimes that is a welcome distraction. At other times, it largely feels minimizing.
For instance, in the United States eighty percent of people make more money than my husband and I. Yet, eighty percent of earth’s population have less than we have. This sort of thinking minimizes the hardship of both sides. My family struggles to keep the power on and the rent paid. In truth, we alternate between the two so as never to be without power and never to be evicted. This sort of life is gruelingly stressful. Yes, we have running water and power, but what is required to obtain it? The other side also has minimized pain. Perhaps they know what their lives are missing or perhaps they don’t – either way this is a tragedy. But also, they struggle in that most of the world does not know them. Yes, we talk about them; we donate to charity; we go on medical and educational missions. But the eighty percent richer than them? Do not live anywhere near them or know of their day-to-day challenges. Perhaps that is one of their greater pains – a world pointing fingers at them from on high.
And I am one of that eighty percent.
All of this, this lengthy diatribe, is simply avoidance though. The paragraph I wrote earlier about my heart and the feelings I have about God? Those are things with which I would prefer not to sit. Most days, I feel as though I am bleeding out in front of an unmovable God. I am down on my knees and its tearing me apart. The truth is that all of the moments in which I have loved God seem to be unreciprocated. He and I, we have unrequited love.
And it’s breaking my heart.