Or chews loudly. Or breathes the wrong way. God never leaves her leg shavings in the bath. Or a dirty cup where is was last put down. God never does any of those things we have to live with in our long long years with our earthly soulmate and life-partner.
Odd how ironing a bunch of shirts brings stuff to mind.
Like how only God can love us unconditionally – yet we aren’t able to do that (until we are dead and risen again). Like how we are born into sin and God isn’t. Like how only God is free of sin AND can love without condition. Add to that the other given – that no matter what we do we are forgiven unconditionally (how else) by God if we “repent” (definition of that to suit the circumstances we find ourselves in). And that means it is a really a small hop-skip-and-jump to that other red-herring: if God is so perfect and is Love itself, then why does he let so much bad shit happen?
This all comes not from the bible. But not just any old bible. This is the correct interpretation of the bible. That’s what I was taught anyway.
With all the inconvenient genocide and pillaging of the Old Testament neatly swept under the carpet. The individual “lapses” of God’s biblical chosen ones painted over with “look at them – if they get it wrong and God loves them – then it means we are okay as well”. And that one I have a peculiar relationship with: we are but sinners forgiven.
So back to me leaving the seat up and being expected (told) it should stay down. To those gross bits of hair stuck to the bath and which become waterborne as soon as I get in. Or the grimace through gritted teeth as that repeated “mastication” every mealtime grows a gnawing resentment. Or that unnecessary nasal “Darth Vader” in the simple act of breathing. And as for loading the dishwasher … or never putting petrol in the car … or giving me “that look” for no reason … or never wanting to talk even though its obvious something is wrong … or always telling me what I can and can’t do … or never listening … and always wanting the last word … All that “living together stuff” that is the low-grade low-level love-sapping anger-festering “if-you-really-loved-me-would you-really-do-all-these-unloving-things” reality of long-term relationships.
God Soft Hand Jesus never does any of that to us – and never complains when we might (unknowingly) do it to him-her. ‘Cos he loves us unconditionally whereas we can’t do that back. Which makes it okay for her-him and us.
And silently moves the bar of what is okay (and what is not) without us ever realising. All of it under the correctly defined basket of “sin” and judged as allowed because we were born into sin – had no say in the matter – and had it all washed all away if we believe what we were taught. And as far as that earthly teaching goes … ? Out of sight is out of mind when it comes to our earthly brothers and sisters (all – how wonderfully – forgiven by GSHJ in my private prayer time). No one need ever know a thing!
The older I get the more I look at religion and think it a perfect stitch-up. So long as we fit-in, say the right words, turn up often enough, tithe enough, and are seen (by our earthly brothers and sisters) to be (what has been created by that religion to be) a Good Christian.
As for what God thinks about all of this … ? Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy! I’m forgiven, forgiven, forgiven!
As I was onto my fourth shirt this morning, the damp warm smell of clean clothes in the air, the silence of a house with only me there (and God of course), these thoughts rolling around in a big increased pile … wouldn’t it be so different if God was still here –
If God was physically here in my life for 20 … 30 … 40 … 50 .. .60 … years. Having that Perfect Perfection right alongside me at every step. Always that Perfect Mirror reflecting back my imperfection. Or might he too become an irritant to me over time?
Just as he did to his own family when he walked this earth in bible times. Bunking off at the Temple for a few days and causing mum and dad all sorts of palpitations. Being so into his preaching and teaching and healing that mum and his siblings thought he had lost his marbles. And how about this? Never recorded as remembering birthdays, anniversaries, Mothers’ Day – and as for chewing loudly or breathing wrong … ? I am guessing mum, dad and family night be able to shed some light on that as well.
In short God is easy to Love because he isn’t real. He is easy to blame because he isn’t real. And he is easy to use an excuse for whatever beliefs and lifestyle we choose for ourselves. Because the bible – inconveniently or not – supports almost anything and everything we choose to believe – which makes it “biblically correct” – and that makes each of us God-correct in believing/living whatever and however we want. It’s why there are so many denominations and theologies. It’s why we can never be wrong on anything (unless better Good Christians tell us we are). And it is why we can relegate Love to something God does and we don’t have to.
Can preach and teach about how Love is good, but we need rules. How Love is an ambition but as we are born to sin something we will never achieve here on earth. Sees the repeated public humiliations of church and denominational leaders. Why we need a comprehensive and detailed safeguarding policy and process. Why we hold onto a big building to maintain and upkeep so we can all be seen to be attending and contributing. And why we need committees and volunteers, a hierarchy and foot soldiers – perhaps even the bible itself. For without the bible what is left but Love itself? And that would never do!
By the time I had finished my seventh shirt and my thoughts were equally crease-free and stacked neatly – I thought why not? So here I am tapping away on the keyboard. That “not real” GSHJ chuckling happily alongside. Looking over every word and phrase. Nodding his head and smiling as he sees these words tumble out.
Is he real or is he me and does it really matter? Perhaps it does –
If we care more for being biblically correct than we do for Love itself.