January 20, 2011

Dear God,

Now I am not, my dear and favorite Lord, anything but a man. I’ll start with that.

But I am “quirky,” even by men’s standards, and that’s what prompts me to write you this letter. On occasion, the fire of lusts upends my concentration on things like prayer and devotions and I’m devastated by how backwards I’ve become. Then, it fades as all physical impulses should, and I’m left with the detritus of guilt. Apt and fitting, it bows my head in silent prayer.

Do you remember that scene from The West Wing? You know the one—where President Bartlet launches into Latin invectives beneath the rose window of the National Cathedral? Then, in a sign of brilliant, hot rebellion, drops a cigarette on the ground of the chancel and rubs it into the bright red carpet with the toe of his shiny black shoes.

That is, perhaps, most of what I have to confess to you. They say confession is not for you at all, but only for us. If that’s true, then you know all about this and I’m just spouting it in self-recognition. Let it be said: I am faulty. And in that fault I have tripped over courtesies and forgotten to do the laundry. But more than that: I have outright defied you. In the face of your forgiveness, wisdom, and resurrection, I failed to trust. No, not even failed—I blurted out in anger that I would NOT trust. Not even if my life depended on it.

In fact, it does. And I have since taken the fall for my misplaced faith. I enjoy getting drunk on control, you see, and do so nightly if the alcohol allows. And therefore: I thrust you out of the way entirely. From the nuances of cooking to the abiding spiritual connections in relationship, I tell—not ask—you to step aside and allow me to do what I do best.

Which, it turns out, is fail. All I’m asking is for a bit of forgiveness on that front. Who knows patience better than you? Employ some of that now and help me turn this beast into a beauty. The tools are there, but I’ve let them rust a bit. Meanwhile, I’ll get out of the driver’s seat and snuff my cigarette in the ash tray.

Then, genuflecting before you and committed to the Cause that is God’s, I will usher out the church doors into the world. That’s the goal, anyway.