I watched the Showtime special “Letting Go of God,” a 2 1/2 hour monologue by Julie Sweeney where she takes a journey of faith, and subsequently unbelief, in her quest for answers about God. Raised a Catholic, she began by loving God, by trusting God, by believing bad times were made bearable through the love of God.
Julie attended a year long Bible study at her local parish and came face to face with some insurmountable evidence, for her, that we are not God’s creation, but instead, He is ours, something to help us make sense of our existence, indeed, our presence in this universe. She concluded after much study and even searching out other religions that God cannot exist, or if He did why would we follow such a God who exacted His own son’s death in order to save flawed man whom He created?
The special was filled with Julie’s own brand of humor, and some of it was laugh out loud funny. There were other times when her pain was palpable, as she struggled to make sense of the good, the bad and the ugly that is this thing called life. Toward the end I thought perhaps she was going to come full circle, and finish by reconciling herself to God.
We have all questioned, if not the existence of God, at least the fundamental question of why bad things happen to good people. I answer this by saying we are born into a world dominated by sin, and that sin colors everything around it, like washing a red sweater with white linens. But then, I believe–I have always believed, and I always will believe in God. I have not always followed, but I have always believed and am convinced I will leave this world tenaciously clinging to this faith I have held so dear.
Where the Bible does not make sense, I lay down the cloak of faith and walk right across the muddiness of what appears to be illogic or at least incontinuity. Where God’s wrath seems to overshadow His love, I wrap myself in the blanket of hope, knowing that what I do not understand now will ultimately be made known to me.
I wrote the poem, “The Journey,” this morning and am posting it here today in lieu of my daily Bible reading. Not that I won’t read the Bible today–I almost certainly will. But then again, it is faith that drives me onward, and faith will ultimately lead me home.
Written after watching “Letting Go of God”, a monologue by Julie Sweeney,Stumbling through the darkness of confusion, tumbling into the light of reason she questioned everything she had been raised to believe. She loved God, always had but science taught her to look elsewhere for answers and no one told her some puzzles have no ready solutions. So she slipped silently from her raft of faith and into the blue-black waters of the intellect, where faith takes a back seat to logic. She turned her back on the God of her father, and set out on a journey of self-actualization, a pilgrimmage she continues to this day. She still uses phrases like, “Thank God,” although more out of habit than belief. She teaches her child we are each some cosmic accident and that is sad, I think, but I believe that children have the knowledge of God even before they have reason to believe, or the ability to reason. I pray that she will find her way, that God will intervene some day and she will return to that first love a child has for her Father. For the first love is the best love, and we should not be detoured on the pathway to righteousness, not by science, nor reason, nor anything.