Dear God

marcus - st. louis, Missouri
Entered on March 15, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

When I was a kid, I went to church every Sunday; not because I wanted to, but because that’s what my family did on sundays. I didn’t really even consider if I believed in anything they were preaching. All I knew was that my mom would feed me a steady stream of lifesavers if I kept my shirt tucked in and mouth shut for the duration of the service.

When I was old enough to develop free will, I labeled myself agnostic, and stopped going. I decided I needed proof, before I could believe in something like that.

I had already been burned by the whole santa claus and tooth fairy thing.

Even 5 years ago, as I sat in my home office, frustrated and depressed by a long stint of recession-induced unemployment, I clung to the agnostic label.

One afternoon, about a year into my fruitless job hunt, I received an email from one of the (many) advertising agencies I had sent my resume.

“Thanks for submitting your resume. You would be a great asset to our company. Unfortunately, we are currently in a hiring freeze. We will keep your resume on file.”

I had received emails like this before. Many, many times before. It was the corporate equivalent of a “Dear John” letter:

“it’s not you, it’s me.”

The hiring freeze felt more like an ice age and this most recent rejection was officially the final straw. I was tired of going to bed hungry–tired of trying to pay rent with an unemployment check and playing consumer russian roulette every time I used my debit card.. I threw my hands in the air and cried up to my cracked ceiling:

“Dear god…Something needs to happen, anything!!!”

Within minutes, I heard an explosion. It came from behind my two-family flat. I looked out my back window, only to find a thick, solid wall of smoke. As I was screaming out for something to happen, a random arsonist set my car and garage on fire. Something most definitely happened.

Even then I chalked it up to an ironic instance of timing, and kept on believing that I didn’t believe.

Then a few years ago I learned that a very dear friend had been fighting a very serious and persistent cancer. After countless rounds of chemotherapy and experimental treatments, it just wouldn’t go away. This was my high school sweetheart; the source of my warmest memories of young love and endless summer nights.

Without thinking about it, I found myself praying for her.

That’s when I realized something: I guess I do believe in god– otherwise, why would I pray?

I’ve always been a firm believer in faith. Faith keeps people going in dire times. But you can have that without believing in god. There’s faith in mankind, faith in one’s self; Faith Hill, George Michael’s Faith, Faith No More…

God and faith aren’t always synonymous with one another.

I don’t know what I have faith in these days, but I do know I believe in god.

let’s just hope he believes in me.