Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hey, remember when i used to write about the Bible?

Yeah. It's been about a month now. And part of that is that i was reading through Kings and Chronicles which, if you didn't know, are basically just lists of names. And then occasionally there's a small story, usually about someone killing someone, and then more names.

The other thing is, God and i have been kind of in a fight lately. I've been trying to figure out the point of this whole religion thing, like, you can still be a good person without being religious, so why take on all the extra guilt? And i have universalist leanings, so i'm not certain that you absolutely have to belong to any specific religion to go to Heaven. And i'm not sure i believe in Hell, or that Hell is eternal, so why the panic? I mean, the whole Jesus thing works really well for me, and i love Him and am glad to be in a relationship with Him, but i struggle to articulate why anyone else should be. And in the midst of all of these questions, four people died in the last thirty days. I mean, a hell of a lot more than four, but these particular four were in my boyfriend's life, and two of them were in my life as well. Obviously he's been through a lot more than i have in the last month, but i've been through the wringer, too. And when he hurts, i hurt, so it's been a really hurty month. And meanwhile in Bible study, we're talking about the not-so-warm-and-fuzzy images and stories of God, like when He fucked up Job's life for no real reason, or all of the many, many, many children that He's killed or injured for no good reason, or the whole question of Hell and Salvation and what's the point of all of it anyway, and what is God getting out of humanity that He cares what we do, anyway?

And i haven't been writing about it, because it's all still too close and fragile, and i need to gain some perspective before i can really see the journey and tell anyone about it. But also, i felt weird writing about it, like i was telling you about a fight with my boyfriend, but bigger than that. Like it was too personal, and the whole internet is already such a weird peephole place and i didn't feel like this was a sideshow that everyone needed to see.


When my boyfriend and i started dating, i would refer a lot to other couples we knew. This drove him INSANE. (I'm pretty sure he still thinks it's weird and inappropriate, but he puts up with it somewhat now.) One time he said, "These couples are not us. Why do you keep talking about everyone else's relationship instead of ours?" And i said, "I like to cite my sources." He gave me this look that was half, "Oh, wow, that makes perfect sense," and half, "Oh, my God, what have I gotten myself into?!" The point is, we all live in community, and we all learn from and relate to one another and come to understand ourselves through sharing stories. I know there have been times when someone told me a relationship story and i thought, "That's me and John exactly! It all makes sense now!" And there have even been times when someone told me a relationship story that didn't connect with me at all, but then later on i ran into something similar and it clicked.

And there have been times when i read a Bible story, or religious blog, or talked to a friend about God, and realized, "That is what i'm going through with God. It all makes sense now." Or it didn't connect with me at all, but then later on something came up and it clicked.

I still don't really know how to write about this fight i'm in with God, this lover's quarrel/professional dispute/filial unrest/academic debate/what-have-you. I don't know which parts are relevant, which parts are helpful. I don't know which parts are which, even, because it's still happening to me and it's overwhelming. But i will continue on this journey, and i will write about it.

Here's what i can tell you right now: i still love God. I still know that He loves me. We're still in a relationship and trying to work things out. I'm getting into some of my favorite parts of the Old Testament soon, so normal posting can resume.

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