Skip to main content

God the Father

First, I want to clarify that I am a big fan of a verse from the book of Genesis which paraphrased states: "Abraham feared the Lord, and it was credited to him as righteousness". A fear of God is something I live by, not a cowering fear, but certainly a healthy respect. But that is one facet of my complex relationship with the Almighty. My relationship with God is often times like that of a daughter and a father. Often times a bratty adolescent daughter....

I admire those writers who seem to have a deep and abiding relationship with God, where they regularly hear Him speak to them through prayer, or the Bible, or through others. Their faith is unswerving and reinforced by these regular communications. My relationship with God has been more complicated, often hallmarked by God's silence and my petulant rants. The most common manifestation of this being my nightly talks with God late at night when I walk outside and stare up at the stars and ask God why I haven't heard or seen an answer to my latest pressing prayer. This dialogue has gone on for years and yet the result remains the same.

There have been moments of greatest frustration that have caused me to turn my back on God, as a child folds its arms over its chest and says to its parent, "I'm not talking to you anymore!" and then looks over its shoulder just to be sure the parent is still paying attention. That's me. I'm pouting, I'm stamping my foot, I'm shouting that I've had enough and not ever going to say another stupid prayer again in my life, because obviously no one's listening. And then I peek over my shoulder and repeat my threat again, just for good measure.

And this is when I'm sure that God laughs.

Because God knows me all too well. That I find my one sided dialogue with Him too irresistible to ever stop. Too hopeful, to ever stop hoping. Too lonely, to ever consider the silence that would grow larger without those prayers.

I have seen the hand of God in small ways and in large. I have watched my needs provided for when I was willing to be guided, to act sensibly, to take action. I have seen my mother healed when her doctors made grave prognosis. I have seen myself mature over the years, to 'put away childish things' and accept responsibility for my actions and to understand that over night sensations and miracles are usually built on a foundation of hard work. Still, I feel as if I have prayed the same prayer for a career to call my own and a place to call home for fourteen years without an answer and I have cried in frustration, 'why not this prayer, the one that means so much to me, why can't you answer this one?'

Parker J. Palmer writes in Let Your Life Speak, that during his own search for meaning and silence from God, he turned to a life-long Quaker for advice:

"Ruth," I said, "people keep telling me that 'way will open' Well I sit in the silence, I pray, I listen for my calling, but way is not opening. I've been trying to find my vocation for a long time, and I still don't have the foggiest idea of what I'm meant to do. Way may open for other people, but it's sure not opening for me."

Ruth's reply was a model of Quaker plain-speaking. "...in sixty-plus years of living, way has never opened in front of me...But a lot of way has closed behind me, and that's had the same guiding effect."

When I think of all the doors that have been closed, sometimes in the most painful ways, I wonder if that is another way that God speaks to us. And that as Parker J. Palmer goes on to say, that when we encounter those closed doors we need to turn around and look at all the doors that remain open for us to try, rather than getting stuck in a dead end. I like that perspective, to turn around and focus on all the possibilities that remain open to try, new paths that we would not have considered if we'd received our first choice.

My hope is that my prayers are being answered. Perhaps in small incremental steps that I take each day and which are so small that I cannot see my progress, but which someday I will look back on  and see that I have found the answer and see God's hand guiding me all along.

And God laughing. At. Me.

Comments

slow panic said…
I was just thinking about that myself. I'd been pouting and whining all day about some problems we are having at home and then i found myself asking Him for something......kind of like a petulant little girl
Anonymous said…
Forgive yourself - He would! Then keep going: asking, giving, being grateful, sharing the humour. The momentary embarassment will pass. We've all been there, (well I sure have, and I hate to count how often) and no doubt will be again. Don't let it hold you back....

I'm egging you on! Have a great day, Suzanne.

Popular posts from this blog

Women are Highly Esteemed in the Eyes of This Man

I enter the sanctuary of Our Lady of Peace Church and my eyes adjust to the dimmed lights as the only illumination comes from candles on the altar and their glowing reflection in the monstrance holding the Blessed Sacrament.
My friend and I had come to join the Mary and Martha’s quarterly meeting which started with an hour of Adoration.
I took my seat in one of the pews, knelt, and surreptitiously glanced around the sanctuary. In the gloaming, I could see thirty other women kneeling like sentinels in silent prayer. 
Over the course of the hour, we would remain in contemplative silence.
As I slipped in and out of my prayers and wandering thoughts, I considered how pleased God must be when he sees us gathered in the simple and divine act of Adoration.
But in fact, women are highly esteemed in God’s sight not matter where we are. 
We only look at the life of Jesus Christ to understand how dearly he cherishes every woman.
In the Gospel of Saint John, a group of men bring a woman caught i…

When our spirit hungers

The precocious toddler’s interest in talking to her mother grew in insistence as the gathered group settled in for an hour of silent prayer. Shushing didn’t work, so the mother led her child into an adjoining room where she would still be part of the sanctuary, but sound would be dampened. Despite the closed door and heavy glass walls, the child’s fervent desire to speak with her mother was still audible.
I said a prayer for the patient mother determined to stay, and for the child who was either tired or hungry or impatient for Mom’s undivided attention. And then tried to bring my wandering thoughts back to prayer. I had come to Adoration with my own pressing need for answers.
Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed a growing emptiness in my heart. A void, as if something is missing. It’s not psychological. Not physical. After doing an internal check, I determined it’s a spiritual void that I’m experiencing.
No, I’m not doubting God, his existence or goodness. I have full confidence in…

If you are tired of the guilt trip you usually feel at church, here’s a different perspective

I am counting the days until I fly to Fort Lauderdale to see Mom for Christmas. Yes, I speak with her every day, sometimes twice a day. But as you know, phone calls just aren’t the same as being with someone you love. I look forward to seeing Mom’s smile, to holding her hand, to going for a drive along the beach with her. Spending time in the presence of someone we love enriches our relationship with them.
I believe the love I feel for Mom, is a sliver of what God feels for each of us. I believe God longs to share that love with us. Which is why we are called to spend time in God’s presence daily. We experience God’s presence when we meet him in our prayers, in church, and hopefully in one another. If I could make one wish for each of us, it would be that at some point during the next four weeks of Advent we would experience how much Jesus loves us.



The Best Christmas

During my morning devotions, I read these two verses of Psalm 117:
Praise theLord,all you nations;
extol him, all you peop…