Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Letter to God

Dear God,

How are you? I’ve been meaning to contact you because, from what I hear, things just aren’t all that good right now. Your children are tramping all over this world you’ve created for us, killing each other, both in secret and in plain sight. They’re hurting each other, old and young. They’re acting in deprived ways, wounding each other physically, emotionally, and spiritually. They justify their hurtful behavior in the name of self-fulfillment. Some of these misguided souls even try to justify this brutality by invoking your name.

Others of us aren’t taking care of the things you've given us very well. We’re tearing down these lovely trees you’ve made for us faster than you can grow them back. We’re burning up the wonderful resources you gave us at rates faster than you intended. The oceans and very air we breathe bear the stain of our over-indulgence.

If current trends are to be believed, it’s getting awfully warm as well. It’s like the global air conditioner just isn’t working. I know you didn’t break it, so it must have been us.

For most of us, I don’t think it’s even conscious. We’re just so caught up in our own affairs that we haven’t looked around much to see the damage our obsessions, self-interests and ambivalences are causing. It’s not just in big global ways, either. Neighbors and family members are turning on each other, shouting, screaming, hurting, and, in extreme cases, murdering. We’re all behaving very selfishly.

I don’t think we’re all bad, though. Many have just lost site of how all of us are connected through you. Others may be hurt so badly, that it’s hard for them to think and act in good and charitable ways.

Everything we do, every act or thought, good or ill, creates ripples that spread out and affect everyone else. Many of us have forgotten that. We’ve been so concerned with our own survival, under trying conditions of our own manufacture, that we’ve forgotten that it doesn’t have to be like this. We don’t have to keep fighting and killing and polluting. We don’t have to keep screaming, and yelling, and hating. We can choose to love. You tried to teach us love, didn’t you? Even then some of us got angry and spiteful. We even nailed your Son to a tree in order to stop him from showing us a better way.

How stupid are we?

I’m sorry, God. I’m so very sorry. I want to apologize for all the times I’ve looked away from the truth of love and the importance of taking care of my brothers and sisters, my family, my children (who are also your children). I also want to apologize for all the others, even those who don’t want me to.

Unfortunately, I know that we’ll continue to screw up in the future. You know it, too. We’re imperfect creatures, after all. Of course that was the whole point, wasn’t it? To learn to get along with each other? To learn that people matter much more than things? I hope you can forgive us for not learning that lesson very well. I hope you can forgive me.

I also want to say thank you for giving us this chance to fix things. You’ve always been merciful like that, though, haven’t you? I just hope, and pray, that we can change our behaviors in time. There’s a part of me that can’t help wondering if, in some ways, we’re already too late.

In any case, I’m still here. I’m still behind you. I don’t always understand it all, but I’m trying. I love you. Help me to love your children as much as you do.

Your child,


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