My Featured Blogger this week, Rita Sommers-Flanagan, creator of the blog site Short visits with an honest God (and numerous books on clinical psychology) will make your heart hurt and your brain burn (or possibly the other way around). If you’re a satisfied agnostic materialist, she’ll rattle your comfy shoe box reality; if you’re a complacent conservative, she’ll unsettle your settled view of God with her constantly morphing portrait of him as male, female, homeless, homemaker, snarkily detached, passionately engaged. My own theology doesn’t line-up all that perfectly with Rita’s, but that’s not what matters. What’s matters is her painful, urgent, sometimes beautiful vision of humanity, and that of the honest, often metaphorical, God with whom she visits.
“Up to you,” God said. This is a lonely answer.
My hot bath had steamed the bathroom mirrors. I was brushing my teeth, contemplating all the irritating, confusing choices humans face. Which main dish to order, which shirt to buy, which route to take, which career to pursue, which allegiances to pledge, which weapons to use, which sacrifices to make, which people to love–how much to eat, when to arrive, when to leave, when to support, when to withhold, when to sing and when to scream–the choice of what to believe, who to trust. Even not choosing is choosing. There’s no way out.
“I know you have opinions,” I said. “Why can’t you be more open about them? Why can’t you be more helpful?”
“I take that to mean I’m supposed to know already,” I said. Like a tired professor, God wrote the words justice, mercy…
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