Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thank You for Our Food

I haven't done it consistently, but I used to pray with Audrey to give thanks for our dinner and tonight I found myself saying it again.  All I say is "Thank you God for our food," and Audrey says the "Amen."

Tonight right after we said that, I told A, "We have to thank God because He gives us everything we have."  As soon as the words left my mouth I felt angry and confused.  I know people are always saying something like, "If we're going to blame God for the bad things, we also have to acknowledge all of the good things He gives us."  Is that how it goes?  Something like that.  But then if we thank Him for the good things, what of the bad things?  In one of the books I read in the early days, the author said that though it sounds harsh, she actually believes God is in charge of those tragic things that happen and can use them for good.  This is not a really popular stance.  Most people, even believers, tell me that of course, God never intended for Dan to die this way at 33.  It wasn't God's plan, but God allowed it.  It was the result of a broken, fallen world.

But then if that's really true, I thought as I ate a piece of the lasagna someone had dropped off, if that's really true then do I really need to thank God for this lasagna?  Because if many things that go on are a result of the fallenness of our world and our own free will- bad choices- then couldn't the good things also be from that?  Couldn't my lasagna just be the result of someone good choosing to bring me food?  And therefore have not much to do with God?  I guess then you could say all goodness comes from God and that God in that person encouraged them or enabled them to do that good deed.

I guess it's a question really of how active in our world we believe God is.  Is he the clock winder many believe he is- did he just wind the clock and stand back?  Everything I believe in would tell me that no, he is very, very active.  Active enough to actually come here in the flesh.  But not active enough to save Dan?

I'm not sure where the hell these thoughts leave me really.  Did God allow Dan to die or did God actually take Dan from me purposely?  In other words, do I thank God for my lasagna or not?

1 comment:

  1. I have come to assume that any concept of God as a personage who can, or would, tinker with the course of events on Earth is limited to the point of blindness. As a Christian I strive to believe that it happened once, when Jesus appeared among us to show what Humankind might be when perfected, and to dramatize the overarching importance of love -- not in our terms, but in infinite terms.

    We cannot conceive of God because we are earthbound, lifebound... we fall back on describing Him/It in quaint human terms. The vastness of what we don't and can't know in this realm defined by Time cannot be overestimated.

    Have you ever heard of "Flatland," a late 18-century novel that portrays the confusion and incomprehension of two-dimensional beings in a two-dimensional world when they are visited by three-dimensional beings? (A sphere, for example, appears to be a small circle that gets bigger, then smaller again, then disappears, as it passes through the plane of Flatland.) It isn't a perfect metaphor, but the notion of dimensions outside our ken has helped me accept that it is not yet our time to understand... Everything.

    The essence of God that IS love resonates with your pain and loss, I believe. That essence radiates love, even when we hurt so badly that we can't apprehend it.

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