Friday, November 10, 2006

Not Prograstinating, Honestly

I'm keeping up with my word count goals each day, but the piece I'm working on isn't ready to be posted. Still too raw.

Keep trying to remember that this is only a shitty first draft (a la Anne Lamott), but this story wants detail, it wants raw emotion and demands to be told as Truth of the highest order, and I'm not quite there yet.

Will post it soon.

Meantime, thanks for reading.

On another front entirely, I had to be at the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast at 6:00am this morning. Massive bummer. My spa was sponsoring a table, so I had to go greet my guests, etc.

The breakfast was a bigger bummer than having to be dressed to the nines and in a place 15 miles from my house by 6:00am. It was held to honor veterans, and the guests of honor were the father and brother of a young man from our town who was killed in Iraq recently.

The speakers were four devout Christians: veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and their wives. They spoke fervently about their experiences and their missions and how fundamental prayer and Jesus were to their survival. They showed slides of the prayer schedule arranged by their Sunday Schools so that someone was praying for them every hour of the day and night. They declared that their relationship with Jesus was fundamental to their survival.

I have no problem with the fact that they believe these things. My problem comes with the idea that this is the ONLY way. What of the Muslim woman sitting in the crowd, her head covered with a beautiful scarf? What of the father and brother of the young man who was killed? Did they not pray enough? If they had arranged round-the-clock prayers, would their boy be sitting beside them, eating rubbery scrambled eggs and standing when the veterans were honored? Should they feel responsible for his death?

None of us knows the answer to those questions. Not really. And I think it's arrogant beyond belief to imagine there's only one answer and one, relatively small group owns it completely.

Many paths, one God works for me. The recognition that some live and some die and we have no control over which group we fall into on a given day--that works for me. The Buddhist notion of living so that every day would be a good day to die--one in which you'd been kind to all, been loving to those you love, accepted your responsibilities and embraced the joy available to you--that works for me. Jesus and God play a big part in my spirituality, but in my world, they accept all of us, all colors, all faiths, all words and ways of praying. Intention is all.

Being omnicient and all, my God recognizes all sincere prayer and all loving kindness. I just can't believe God is narrow-minded. Can you?


Michelle O'Neil said...

You got it Jerri! Many paths, one truth. God the good, omnipotent.

holly said...

So true. My current favorite bumper sticker: "Who Would Jesus Bomb"

Carrie Wilson Link said...

My favorite expression, coined it myself, is "All good is good." How did things get so complicated? Love period is the answer.


Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, yes!

Very well said.

I like to make the distinction between religion and spirituality. Religion is a system of symbols that allow us some language for expressing that which is inexpressible and unfathomable. Spirituality is the underlying instinct for truth that drives all religious expression, whether it be aboriginal shamanism or Christian evangelism.

Just as disturbing as religious fundamentalists who insist that theirs in the only way, are the recent best-selling authors who are trying debunk all religious expression. One such book is "The God Delusion," in which the author argues that the only truth is that which can be proven scientifically. God doesn't exist by this logic.

Which means, I suppose, that Beauty, Honor, Happiness, and Love don't exist either, since no scientist can isolate and study these qualities.

The irony is that these writers have their own God. They name it "Science," and seem oblivious to the fact that it has caused as much heartache in the world as the religious traditions they ridicule.

Sorry for my rant. LIke you, I've been thinking a lot about this recently.