Earlier today I was going to Tweet something along the lines of: “The sad truth is that I don’t tell God I love Him because it’s true; I do it so that I’ll hear it back from Him.”
I realized (again?) today how selfish I am. I may love God somewhere deep in my heart, but most of the time I’m a needy, clingy, co-dependent person who needs to hear God say “I love you” just once, or maybe just once more. My prayers are very sad attempts to manipulate God into saying the words I think I need to hear. I’m a manipulator of the Almighty.
Then tonight, while reading Be Not Afraid: Overcoming The Fear Of Death by Johann Christoph Arnold, I ran across this quote:
“After all, grief is the innate urge to go on loving someone who is no longer there, and to be loved back.”
I thought to myself after reading this, My gosh, that sounds a lot like what I feel all the time! An urge to love a God who doesn’t seem to be there, and to have Him love me back. Being able to label or describe my feelings in this way is helpful. I may be needy or clingy, but maybe I’m also just grieving the loss of God in my life. Or the loss of God as I liked to think of Him: Logical, reasonable, predictable, knowable, with His capital H’s, sitting up on those puffy white clouds, flowing beard, robes, the whole bit.
“And insofar as we hold ourselves back (or allow someone else to hold us back) from bringing this urge to expression, we will remain frustrated, and we will never heal. In other words, grief is the soul’s natural response to loss, and should not be repressed.”
I wonder, how often have I let someone hold me back from grieving for God? Why can’t I mourn the loss of the God I thought was there, the One I used to know but now is gone?
Maybe God will surprise me and show me that the fat old bastard up in the clouds was never Him at all.