A Letter of Love
I’ve am writing you today to ask if you need a friend. I ask because I think everyone assumes that because God is great, and God is, that you would not have any needs.
Yet, I suspect that you are lonely. I am lonely, too. Can I be your friend, God, and can you be mine? It takes courage for me to ask this, but I know that courage can never happen without vulnerability first. I know I must give myself, my life, my soul freely to you despite my fear because there is no love in fearing, only resentment.
I know that you love all your children, all of creation. It must be very difficult to witness the death of every single life on the planet, over and over again. It must be even more painful to see those you love hurt and kill one another, every day, every month, every year, every generation, and every century for reasons that make little sense within the cosmic spark of life.
It must be maddening that people use your words, what they say you said, as justification to harm those you love, nor does anyone really follow your commandments.
You must be very strong. But I sometimes worry that you gave up on us. It was too painful for you. After all, you have the whole universe to attend to, but I guess that is silly. You are the universe, and we are part of your heart, a tad bit anyway.
I sometimes worry that you are like the Greek and Roman gods, psychopaths; humans are props for amusement. But I know that despite the immense pain in life, that you are somehow an empathetic bystander looking on that sometimes, every once in a while, answers.
Those answers can seem odd or off to us, but often they are what we need, not what we want.
It must also be hard not to have a girlfriend or boyfriend, a support system you can count on because, if you will forgive me, if we are made in your image, then you must share the same hopes, dreams, and desires. You must be sometimes a boy and sometimes a girl and sometimes a boy and girl, and often everyone and no one. You must desire love, intimacy, and affection. You must cry, too.
Yes, you get angry. We know that, but we do, too. We all can be jerks sometimes. I wonder if “can you?”
For years, I did not trust you. You are too scary and say you love us but if we do wrong, we will burn in hell forever. I am angry about that. I am mad about the Story of Abraham. I think that too cruel. I know I should not write this, but how can I not be honest with God. You scare me. I am afraid of you. We cannot trust those we fear. Can we?
You’d ask me to kill one I love the most to test me. If you are the light, then maybe you can be darkness, too? But wouldn’t you already know if you look deep into the very heart you gave to me? Do you not know how much pain my love for others causes me because others are part of you, your heart, too.
But I am learning to love you because you’ve come to me, twice that I remember, thrice actually. And though I could not make out your face, for there was a blinding light behind it, a warm, soft, but ever-so-bright light, you looked upon me with such love and no judgment at all. It is the kind of love that is so strong that it creates infinite time. I know you love me. But is is true what the Ukrainians say, “I love God, but God loves me less.” I guess I just want you to love me, but we don’t always get what we want.
I recently saw you in a girl’s face and wish now that it’s her face I see when I near death. That is the last image I want to see. No one ever looked at me like that. Because I know that in her face was your face, and in those few seconds of time, I loved her, as I love you, too, infinitely.
So, can I be your friend? I know I am not much. I am flawed, older, alone, and have nothing to really offer you but my friendship. But in my heart I want the very best for everyone, and for you, too.
Earl Yarington (LMSW) is a social worker and school bus driver. He taught literature and writing for nearly 20 years and spent 3 years working in forensic social work internships with offending populations, including work at Delaware Correctional facilities and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He has a PhD in literature and criticism (feminism/women writers) from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Master of Social Work from Louisiana State University, and an interdisciplinary Master of Liberal Arts from Arizona State University, where he studied the impact of visual image and girlhood in media/social media. He also has an MA and BS in English from SUNY College at Brockport. He is currently in the later stages of his MFA program at Concordia University-St. Paul, where he is studying and writing about Anne Frank. The opinions and analyses that Earl writes are his own and are not necessarily the positions or views of his employers, the agencies he supports, or that of his colleagues.