WHERE IS GOD?
I don’t know how many times in my life I have asked this question. I do remember the first time I asked this question though. I was 10 years old and my parents told my brother, sister, and I that dad was “moving out.” I immediately was angry, hurt, sad, scared, and pretty much any other negative emotion one can have. I prayed to God to make my parents love each other again and let my life go back to the way it was. I got nothing. Fast forward five years I had to begrudgingly tell my mother I was gay. I had an immense fear that she would reject me. My fear was validated when my mother started crying, and when I asked her why she was crying, since this wasn’t really about her. She responded and crushed my world, spirit, and faith in God with just one sentence. “I am sad because you don’t get to join the family in heaven when you die.” I sat stunned for what felt like an eternity before asking my mother to leave me alone for awhile. When she left the only thing I could think to do was pray to God. I prayed for God to tell me what to do, to comfort me, to change my mother’s views. I prayed so much to God to CHANGE ME, make me “normal” so my mother, my church/pastor, and other people who turned their backs on me would love me again. I waited, and waited, and waited for a sign or an answer. I didn’t feel like I was asking for much I didn’t need a burning bush, shoot I would take a smoldering stick. Again I got nothing. So I was done. I left the church, threw my bible away, and I lost all love for the world that day. I kinda gave up on God because where was God when I was in need? Where was God!?
Despite this giving up I continued to do “check-ins” with God mostly just out of habit, and a little bit out of hope. I quit praying for my life to return to some sense of normalcy again. I quit being angry I just became numb. A couple years later I was walking on the Linear Trial in Manhattan, KS, and doing one of my “check-ins.” I told God I was done fighting and arguing , done being numb to the world, and done caring about the thoughts of others toward me. I was gonna let my life go wherever God lead it. After saying that I immediately got chills and then this sudden sense of calm and inner peace washed over me. At that moment I was back with God, but in a stronger way than I was prior to coming out. My love for God and the world came back with such a powerful force the only thing I could do was cry and thank God. I now always pray to God to give me feet like Christ to go where God calls, eyes like Christ to see the need in the world, a heart like Christ to have love for God’s world and for people, and lastly hands like Christ to do the needed work to healing broken people in a broken world.
Let’s jump ahead about 8 years to September 8th 2016. I was walking with one of my housemates downtown in Austin and on one of the blocks I had seen something I was definitely not used to however, I had seen something similar in South America. There were a few blocks where the homeless population tend to congregate, and for more than a few this was their home. They were outside two shelters waiting for nighttime to come in hopes that they would get a bed.
So frequently when “we” (people who have much more privilege than others) see sad pictures of people in poverty or war-torn countries we ask ourselves “where is God” or make a statement like “if only they believed more in God or in the ‘right’ God they wouldn’t be there.” Here is the deal puddin’-pop that is not the right question or statement. It doesn’t matter the person’s level of belief or what they believe ALL people deserve love and compassion. It is not where is God, but where are God’s people? As a Christian (if this applies to you) or just a global citizen it is our responsible to care for one another. It is not God who put those people in their situations. It was people. It was leaders. It was a system of oppression put in a long time ago that we allow to continue. The homeless people downtown close enough to the capitol that you could see most of the dome, just blocks away. In South America the slum was right next to the capitol. These places are supposed to make laws to care for its people, but here we are. Why should they care though right? I mean if that person begging for money or help would just “pull themselves up from their bootstraps” and/or “get a job” the problem would be solved, right? Here is the problem with this ideology. A person who isn’t eating much or healthy can’t think about getting a job. A person who doesn’t have access to shower or laundry facilities can’t shower or have clean clothes for a job interview. So no they can not “pull themselves up from their bootstraps.”
I will tell you where God is…God is everywhere. God is in everyone, we just have to do the work (put those sentences in a Hallmark Card). So I ask you where are the people?! Where is the person volunteering at a local soup kitchen/charity? Where is the person giving up a few of their dollars to a person asking for help? Or where is the person demanding change and care from the leaders?
WHERE ARE THE PEOPLE? WHERE AM I? WHERE ARE YOU?
Peace and love,