I’ve been thinking a lot about God lately.
Well, really, I’ve been questioning the idea of God lately. This isn’t really anything new, but the thoughts have migrated from the back of my head to the forefront. They’ve gone from whispers to slightly quieter yells. This could potentially be a bad thing.
Here’s some background: I’m black, southern and Baptist by birth. (And a queer womanist, but that’s for another post.) My family ascribes to that old time religion, that ‘don’t question God’ type of religion. I grew up hearing things like “God will never put more on you than you can bear” and “Trust in the Lord”. The 23rd Psalm is something we recite when going into any situation where we may be tested; a laminated copy of it rides in my wallet everyday.
But I’m tired. I’m tired of giving my pain and hurt to God and trusting that She/He will heal it, fix it. I’m tired of trusting Her/Him while I’m watching my brothers and sisters be slain in plain sight. I’m tired of having to tape myself up with duct tape to keep from falling apart.
When is it time to question God? When is it time to be angry with Her/Him? When is it okay to stop waiting for God to show up and show out?
I’m so tired. And angry. And sad. And scared. And confused.
I went to bed thinking about Alton Sterling. About how he’ll never go to bed again, about how his children will never be able to sneak into his room and scare him awake again. I went to sleep with images of his body jerking with his last grasps at life.
I went to sleep with that hurt and woke up to Philando Castile. I woke up to another father gone from this world. Another father shot in front of his daughter. Shot for doing what he’s supposed to do. I’m so tired, y’all.
In cases like this, my family would say turn to God, to pray. But how do I keep praying to a God that seems to never listen? How do I praise a God that lets Her/His children be so callous and cruel to one another?
I want to believe that there is a greater purpose to all this suffering we’re seeing. I want to believe that this time, my fallen brothers will see the justice they deserve. I want to believe, but I’m tired.
I’m tired of being scared to watch my uncles and brothers and cousins and friends go out the door into this world. I’m scared for my bestfriend, who drives a truck all over the place, scared that one day some officer will pull him over and see his big black beautiful self as a threat and use deadly force. I’m scared to have to explain to his daughter why daddy isn’t coming home.
I’m scared for my dreadheaded friend to be pulled over for speeding and shot for looking like a thug. I’m scared to have to figure out how to explain that to his young children.
But, most of all, I’m scared for my 6 year old nephews. I’m scared that we are raising them to be respectful and kind and gentlemanly only to send them out into a world that is only going to see skin color. We’re sending them out into a world that has no love for them.
When do we stop practicing respectability politics and start acting? When do we stop waiting on God to move and start doing it ourselves?
Maybe there is no God. Maybe our planet is a forgotten science experiment sitting on some alien kid’s shelf. In that case, we really are all there is and the only way change is happening is through us.
I’m just so tired of being tired and scared. I don’t want to see any more brown bodies desecrated. I don’t want my loved ones to be the next hashtag while the media tells you what thugs they were and how they stole candy when they were three, so of course they deserved to die. I want the killing and dying to stop. I want to stop being tired and scared. I want to stop having to question God.
Where you at God? Come on through.