There was a time, in my not so distant past, when the day before the CMAs I would be getting nails and hair done and praying no one would have the same dress as me, or if they did that I would most certainly wear it better.
However, yesterday (Tuesday), I sat alone on a church pew and let God have it. (And yes, I hear my Baptist roots loud and clear telling me how wrong and dangerous that is). Moving on…
Tuesday was hard because Monday, my son experienced some incredible cruelty that cut both of us down to our core and I’m furious about it… frankly, I’m pissed. I’m angry that the God my very loving and bold priests have been showing me lately, would not show up for us in the way it seems He/She/It is showing up for so many others. If He really is all good, all knowing, and all powerful, then He could/would/should stop some of the bullshit in the world from happening.
He could stop women from being raped,
He could stop children from dying, and
He could stop the pain that so many children are subjected to by either misguided or down right mean people. But He doesn’t and He didn’t and I’m mad about it. So this “protector-God,” I’m not at all sold on.
I sat in that pew and read scriptures about being a father to the fatherless, about rendering to one ‘according to his work’ and over and over I felt like the exception to these things. I’ve always felt like the exception to grace and that love is either based on performance or is toxic and a source of great pain.
In years past, I would run away or avoid these difficult feelings toward God. Tuesday, I showed up at his house to tell him I wasn’t happy about it.
My ‘crying out,’ sounded a little like, “Ok, I get it, You are either mad at me, hate me, or are done with and regret having made me… So the struggles and pain I endure… whatever I’m getting used to the beatings… but leave my kid out of it! He didn’t ask to be in this situation, and he is COMPLETELY worth protecting! So pile it up on me, and I’ll muscle through like always, but damnit, step up and protect my sweet little one!”
CMAs & GAME 7 – my loves in life have always been music and sports, so for the CMAs and Game 7 of the MLB World Series to be on the same night is mildly overwhelming and the fact that I wasn’t present for either is just plain weird! Typically I would at least host a watch party, or go somewhere to cheer and toast each run and impressing the other, usually men, at my ability to call balls and strikes better than any of them and to always be a step or two ahead of the announcers. (It’s fun when you say something and the announcers repeat it!)
Tonight I didn’t put a new dress on, I didn’t schmooze with industry folks back stage and I won’t be attending an after party. I didn’t join a group of friends over 9 (or this time 10) innings, and I have no adult beverage in hand… No, tonight, my profession and much of my life that usually lives in between the Entertainment and Sport inidustries was book marked as I sat in a small group of people in a book study talking about the love and wrath of God. Well they talked, I listened and processed it internally. They had great, authentic-to-them things to say, and I sat quietly. I felt the things I wanted say, would not be helpful and could potentially hurt or stall the progress and healing that was taking place. (Didn’t want to be the Debbie Downer!)
While they danced through this week’s chapter, I hung onto the line that says ‘wrath is what we experience when we reject God.’ My group members seem to have a much better grasp on redefining words like wrath and the images associated with them.
Still seeing through an angry lens, I have a hard time distinguishing between God’s wrath against some potential sin in my life, (and I’m not aware of their being some big unconfessed secret), His direct anger and hate toward me, the product of painful experiences simply due to encountering the wrong asshole at the wrong time, or perhaps God is testing me, and maybe He’s not actually involved in or concerned with the details of our life. I can’t say his wrath is loving, and not angry, when my experience of that is different. Well, unless love is meant to be scary, dangerous, unfair, painful and at times torturous, then those equate.
This year there is no new dress, no front row seats, no beer or hotdog or helping the umpires. This year there’s me, no makeup, full of a deep deep ache, continuing to show up, sitting quietly, desperately searching for answers and peace. It’s exciting to know some of my clients and colleagues will walk away tonight with numerous awards, or a championship trophy… I can celebrate and make space for their joy and success! And boy are we celebrating! I didn’t say my phone was off! :)!
But tonight, I’m here, in this old t-shirt and shorts, working on re-writing old narratives that have sucked the life out of me far too long. Whether or not I’ll ever fully figure out is TBD, but I’m showing up, as miserable and painful as it may be sometimes, I’m showing up.