I wrote God a letter.
Dear God. I just want you to know how much you mean to me. I’ve felt things towards you that I haven’t felt in a long time. I feel giddy. I can’t eat or sleep. I’m constantly thinking about you.
To be honest, I’m in awe to be in your presence. I feel so unworthy, and the thought of you even reading this letter seems surreal. You reassured me that you will read it, and I am truly touched by this.
In response, God sent me a box of bow ties.
They were not exactly my style, and I don’t usually wear bow ties. But I did appreciate the gesture.
So I wrote another letter:
I just want to be upfront, because I feel that it’s the best approach. I love you. It’s hard for me to admit it so openly, I feel very vulnerable doing so. I feel like I’m opening myself up to rejection, but I’d rather bring it up, and hear your feeling towards me in response.
The bow ties were really nice, by the way. But to be honest, I’d rather just hear from you than get gifts. I know you’re really busy, but if you could spare time for even a quick conversation, you have no idea how much that would mean to me.
In response, God sent me a carefully wrapped box full of horseshit and a bouquet of roses.
* * *
Here’s the thing.
There’s a commonly shared idea in Jewish thought, an idea I was raised on, that relationships are forged by similarity. To that end, Torah and the Jewish tradition are there to help you become more like God, and therefore deepen your relationship with Him/It.
This, from my personal experience, is bullshit. (Personal experience is all we can go by in the world. Also, there’s a well-accepted idea that all worldly phenomena and experiences, especially romantic relationships, are there to teach us about relating to God. See Song of Songs for a particularly sexy example).
You want to build intimacy? Stare into someone’s eyes for 30 seconds.
Want to feel closer to a person? Share your feelings with them and have them do the same to you.
Want to not have a relationship? Make sure it’s one-sided and the only response you get from the Other is vague actions, subject to interpretation.
Similarity has almost nothing to do with it. Would you really like to marry a clone of yourself?
Ah,” you say. “This is a sad, sad reality of our generation. We are so distant from God.”
You may appreciate some aspects of similarity in a relationship. But you’ll probably appreciate the areas they balance you out as well.
So much of a relationship is about either shared experience, instant chemistry, or a combination of both. When is the last time you saw someone evolve to a point where they became suited for another person (in compatibility, not just in maturity)?
People say they feel they have a relationship with God. God tells them things. I assume they are not schizophrenic, and that God tells them things either via physical signals or internal intuition.
This is not a relationship I want to have.
Some sort of monarchist, idolizing, Stockholm syndrome phenomenon.
Would you be content with a father who sent you a box of chocolates every time you asked for one? Would you be happy with a spouse who conveyed their disapproval by passive (or not so passive) aggressively smacking you about until you finally, hopefully, get it right?
“Ah,” you say. “This is a sad, sad reality of our generation. We are so distant from God.”
Always the convenient generation bashing.
Did anyone in this generation do anything to deserve being born into this generation? To have a relationship experienced entirely through a one way mirror?
And frankly, hasn’t it always been this way? Hasn’t mankind been lamenting their fall from heaven across cultures and since the beginning of time?
And then, if you really think about it, is man that responsible for his actions? Relative to God, isn’t the most powerful person just a small, fumbling child gesturing towards his parent?
At the root of it all, it’s God, if He does exist, that set this whole thing up: a one-sided relationship where you stumbling in the dark with the burning desire to return to your Source, to achieve emotional and spiritual completeness.
This cruel and distant behavior on left me angry. I would never tolerate such a relationship with a human, and don’t see why I should lower my standards for an all-powerful deity.
I’ve told him as much. I’ve shared my feeling with him on the subject. Plus, being omnipotent, he’s heard me talking about it with others.
But His response, as far as I can tell, has been the same as when I professed my undying devotion.
Another box of bow ties.