(Song lyrics in title probably translated wrong, but I did my best.)
I’m feeling conflicted about religion lately. Despite all the prayers that have been supposedly coming my way for months, the last apartment on my list of possibilities does not look promising, and I need a home by Monday.
Now, I’ve read A Fault In Our Stars. I know the quote. Life is not a wish-granting factory. But how can anyone dare tell me miracles are real now, and that God provides everything we need? If the birds are loved, we are loved more? I’m not feeling it. I feel abandoned, and though I am no stranger to being let down, I’m angry. I don’t want to be on the streets. I don’t want to lose all of my things because I’ll have to throw them away. Again. But without a miracle? Here I am.
…So on Thursday nights, I go to a meeting where skeptics are welcomed. Free food lured me in like at most church events, but the people I’ve met there seem genuinely nice. Tonight we talked about our experiences of knowing who God is.
I don’t remember who, but someone gave the analogy of God being a loving parent. No matter how many times we mess up, we know that our family will always love us and welcome us back into their home, even if we’ve done something they disapprove of. We can rest easy in knowing that we will always have a place. My peers nodded, agreeing. “What a good example.”
I wanted to argue that outside of the sheltered, upper-class, prosperity-gospel world, that is too often not the case. Parents are not always there for their children. Love between relatives and lifelong friends can be lost. It can be forgotten. If God is what home is like, I want no part of it.
Sometimes families are schizophrenic and addicted to drugs, spending all their money on things to snort so that their child ends up living with them in their car, until they have to sell that too. My closest internet friend/current favorite is battling homelessness at the same time I am for this reason, and my heart breaks for him. Who is “providing” here?
Sometimes families threaten to disown their children for pursing a relationship they don’t approve of. Maybe the partner is the wrong social class, the wrong gender, the wrong race.
Sometimes families boot their children out of the home when they turn 18. Sometimes mothers abandon their children so they can have sex with a man who doesn’t have room for them. Their kid is selling their body on a street corner? So what. Sometimes genes and legal documents don’t matter. Family ties are too often broken.
I sincerely hope that the kind people from my Thursday meetings never have to face this reality. I hope they will always be loved.
I have never felt farther from God than I did tonight. In a way, I hope he doesn’t exist because that is one less person/thing/idea to be mad at.
I need help, in the physical, real world. At this point, prayers feel useless. There’s no signal. They’re not getting through. I feel like I’m constantly screaming out to everyone who is supposed to care, but their silence is so loud.
My internet companions have been wonderful during this torrential shit-hurricane of a week. But of course, they are foreign and can’t be of much help aside from words. At least they’re real words, acknowledging how unfair this whole situation is, and not plastering on a fake smile telling me everything will be alright when the world around me is crumbling.
They’re making it through life alone without any miracles, just like me.
The world of love and promise and blessings seems to be hidden behind a gate we can’t unlock.