The Third Step: We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
They want me to turn my life over to You, as I understand You. The thing is, the more I live, and the more I learn about You, the less I know.
For a long time You were a wealthy, white, straight, Republican. Also a man. Maybe a Libertarian.
But then rock bottom found my hiding spot, so did You. And as You flashed across my face, shrouded in that holy, damp, life-y fog I saw that You wore none of the identities I assigned to You for all those years.
Light, light was all I saw. Pinking and pulsing, dancing, fading in and out of bright yellows and sherbet orange. In that Light only Love exists: Truth-Love, Justice-Love, Hard-Love, Good-Love.
Once, toward the end of Ellen’s life I dreamt of You, a Lion, circling the canvas tent my family and I huddled in like penguins keeping out the cold. All the jungle noises frightened us, but none more than Your scary-ass roar.
He’s coming for us. We’re done. Aslan isn’t a Good Lion after all—Aslan is actually Scar.
Why do You allow (or cause) illness and pain? Those Syrian babies still drowning and freezing and starving still ruins me. The sober part of my sobriety feels like more than I signed up for: a newborn brought home before realizing you would not sleep or shower for the next five years. And since I’m an honest woman, I wish the Bible—Your love letter to humanity—was a tad bit more consistent, easy, and up-to-date.
The roaring, strangely, never crept closer. After hours of listening to Your growly intimidations I peeked out. You weren’t stalking my family, my dying sister, or me. You were protecting, keeping all the hyenas and all the jungle away.
They want me to turn my Life over to You as I understand You, and now that I see just how purely You love EVERYONE, I think I can do that. Now that I know for sure there is no condemnation in Christ (not even for the mom who NICU-ed her son and whacked her kids, and ate too much or too little, and manipulated like a sociopath) I can release the control I thought I had.
You’re not keeping track, and so I can drop the puppets, I can toss the tallies out the window of the Honda Pilot while I dance in the car on the way to therapy.
That’s a God I can understand: A fierce protector of the holy clay You called Good. I’d rather worship a ball of Love energy than a straight, conservative, white, Western male, anyway. I’m okay with scary and hard, because You always end up swooping in the end.
Hard becomes Good after You roar away all the death. When we peek out through the worn canvas structures we built and see the safety and freedom and Love You’ve provided, that’s when we start to say Thank You instead of how dare you?
Then we dance. The jungle howling never stops, but neither does the dancing.