I'm at the bottom of a ravine, having fallen from above. Multiple critical injuries, weathers nice though so I have maybe a day more than most in such straights. So I pray and pray and pray, and God comes around to offer his 'comforting presence'. I ask him; did you bring a stretcher and some way to get me out of this? Anything? He Responds, "I'm omnipotent, etc, etc - I came to do the best imaginable - nay, unimaginable - thing for you; what you really need, what you really want if you knew what I know - and that's the feeling that I'm present. I see that you have a severe infection; I'll see to it that it continues along with all the other natural processes that sustained you and challenged you to this point. Oh and you've a hole in your lung through the back. Just thought you should know".
Gee thanks I think, though the conversation contradicts the value He placed on lived human life, on life itself, on His own claims for intervention in the world from the Psalms to now. And then I think, perhaps I've thought this Godly presence
to be; after all, it's a presence I merely
"sense" just as so many other people sense realities in error
and are thus the butt of pranks galore. Agency detection and all that; my mind is in panic mode and incapable of facilitating one of the three cardinal Fs - fight, flight or reproduce - it turns inward, fostering fantasy. Why not? Will God correct me? Will God 'get' me out of this?
The absent, unresponsive God whom so many appeal to in prayer and pain, suddenly has become, in the mouths of liberal (closeted and open) theologians, a "God" who supports precisely the thing 21st Century moderns are obsessed with - human freedom - by leaving us to every last one of our own devises and the whims of a disinterest blindly idiotic nature, while filling our minds with fantasies of HIS own devising about the efficacy of appeals to Him, leaving us only with "his fatherly, comforting presence". Isn't it so fine-tuningly-amazing that how people view this benevolently-non-relating governmental God fits so well with the very expectations that want from the world? AND YET the traditions they claim to represent or even be sanctioned by asked more of God than this God - or...thus far any God - has delivered? Can't help but suppose we're merely contort our own experiences and perceptions around these generationally shifting God views, "accommodating" fact to fantasy.
Fathers - if they're good fathers - don't leave their children to pain, suffering, even their deaths to 'teach them a lesson' if they'd gotten there by their own devising - especially not if it accidental or incidental. He moves in to save them, putting himself in harms way before they're permanently damaged or permanently inaccessible to Him, unavailable to his desired goals and aspirations for them. THAT
is a father. Anything else is a smarmy, fucked up metaphor we SHOULD
The absent, unresponsive God seems strangely like the Baby Boomer absent parent, irresponsible 'parent' who leaves their child to their own 'up-bringing' and fitting precisely what immature adolescents desire from their parents before life happens and they begin to know better. It is not - as God should know if He is who Bibles and religions say He is - either/or;
the absent, lackadaisical parent or the oppressive, meddling patriarch, as much as liberal theologians may hint. They're human beings, they know
better. Even those without degrees know this
- without revelation. And screw this
. All bets are off until those aspects of my life and my hopes and prayers are answered. You'll get nothing but rote behaviorism from me until YOU change things that I can't. God day to You, Sir.