My friends know I’m a religious person. I’m pretty open about my faith, and it’s a big part of my life. As such they often feel comfortable asking me to pray for them, and I’m happy to do so. Sometimes I wonder, though, how much I should disclose about what that means to me.
God is not the big fix-it man in the sky. There is no master plan. And no, not everything happens according to God’s will. God doesn’t cure cancer or save children in plane crashes.
Many people seem to see the world in terms of a never-ending stream of terrible things. Disease, disaster and human cruelty are enough to convince many that there can’t possibly be a God, because if there were, God wouldn’t allow those things to happen.
I see the world as a series of beautiful moments, and no matter how much we try to destroy those, they continue to exist. In the lowest points of human existence there is still beauty and love. There is a thread running through existence that holds everything together despite all the disease, disaster and cruelty. That thread is where we find God.
My faith, then, is not that everything happens for the best in a plan that’s too big for me to understand. It’s not that God is in control, nor that God will give rewards for obedience or petitions.
My faith is that no matter what, God will not abandon creation. In the midst of fear, death and destruction there is trust, life and creation. There is beauty. There is that of God in each of us, and in everything around us.
So if you ask me to pray, I will pray. I will pray that you are aware of God’s presence. That life beyond a life touches you. That you see the light in the dark. That you know that through all eternity God has loved you, and in every moment is with you, hurting with you, crying with you, laughing with you and raging with you. And God will not let go.
And so I don’t pray for God to heal you, but I pray that God find a way to make you aware of the divine surrounding you to feed your hope. I pray that you know love.