What if God is Not Perfect?, by Jacqueline DeSelms-Wolfe, MEd

I have a teacher that always tells me to wait. She tells me that waiting is the space that allows for the receiving and the giving of love.

It’s easy to wait when things are good. It’s easy to do when the sun is shining. It is easy to do when the house is clean and the kids are at the grandparents. It’s easy to do when life feels perfect. When life is running smoothly, my heart is open, waiting and saying “bring on the love.”

Here’s when it’s not so easy: when my son has a seizure on the interstate, 7 hours away from home. It’s not easy when my daughter has to have a chest tube and I am begging God that she will get to come home with us. It’s not easy when my husband leaves his job and we have no idea what our lives will look like without the financial stability it has provided over the years. It’s not easy when I rear-end a parked car and finances are already tight (yes a parked car. Who does that? Me, me, me!).  It’s not so easy when your dear friends are going through divorce. It’s not easy when you wake up to the news that over 300 people have been killed in multiple bombings a world away, but not really away. We all inhabit the same world. 

In these moments, instead of waiting, I want to fight. I want to fight like hell and tell-yell at God that this plan for earth and the beings that inhabit is idiotic.  It’s stupid. It makes no sense. In these moments, my heart closes and says no thank you to this thing we call love. My heart closes and says love is a joke. The joke is on everyone, including and especially those that are suffering a grief so great right now. I wonder how many will come out on the other side of such grief and loss? My son recovered from his seizure, my daughter came home. The loved ones of over 300 people don’t get to have that. 

At the risk of being called blasphemous, I will tell you a story I’ve made up about this God that we say is the embodiment of love.

God longed to give and to receive love. So, God created an entire universe, or as science now tells us, multiple universes. Maybe God wanted some “back-up” plans in case the one we live in didn’t work out as planned?

God had no model of what this giving and receiving of love should look like. God has had to make it all up as s/he goes. Humans also have no model. Or, at least the human models we have had have screwed it up, royally. We do have God as a model.  But, what if God is not perfect?

Have you read the Bible? Wars, famines, plagues? What the hell? 

Then again, maybe it’s not that God isn’t perfect, but that God doesn’t embody what I think perfection should look like. Maybe it’s not that the world isn’t perfect just as it is. Maybe my idea of perfection is amiss. *

My idea of perfection is that of no war, of no bombings, of no painful divorces. My idea of perfection is of no suffering, of no cancer and of no grief. My idea of perfection is of no loss and only gain. My idea of perfection is the sun shiny days where I can sit and wait and receive all the love the universe has to offer.

Today, though, the side of perfection I don’t like is that of the great suffering in the aftermath of the Sri Lanka bombings. I don’t just not like it, I hate it. If I trust my teacher, and I do, I have to sit and wait in this place of hate to give and to receive the love God/the universe has to offer. And today, I sit in this waiting place to offer all the love I can give. I sit in this place for all of you whose grief is so great that waiting to give and receive love is not possible for you now. Today I will wait for you. I will also grieve with you, because in the waiting place I must also allow for the grief and the sorrow.

I have been closing my posts with “until the next day like this.” I hesitate because I don’t want another day like this. I don’t want more wars, more famines, more plagues. I don’t want more bombs. I want to give and to receive love. That is the day I want, everyday. So, for today, I close with until the next day like that - the one where the entire world can sit and wait for love.

Thanks for reading.

Jacqueline DeSelms-Wolfe, MEd

Estuary Blogger

*Please note that my idea of the very imperfect world actually being perfect as it is is not my condoning anything but peace and love in this world. There is no excuse for such atrocities. None at all.