Being a Writer in the face of the God question
It doesn't take a genius to see that the concept of God brings up a whole lot of funky stuff for a whole lot of people. Listen, I was born into this world 100% jewish, and even learning just ONE of those two testaments in hebrew school had me fearing eternal condemnation from on high. I'm not oblivious to the idea that humans have a tendency to morph God from an all-loving force into Judge Judy. (Trust me: I've done this plenty of times myself.)
If you're anything like me, once you got your independence from the homestead, you were glad to be exempt from any kind of religious obligation. In my case, I was thoroughly enjoying that time in my life until it became apparent that I was trying to do everything alone and it wasn't exactly going so well. I needed to believe that there was something bigger than myself guiding me, protecting me, loving me when I felt entirely incapable of doing so. Some people call this a weakness, but surrender is actually the greatest strength - it takes a whole lot of courage to let go and have faith. However, I couldn't let go and let Judge Judy. I had to let go and let God - God as a force of unconditional love.
This letting go, this connection with a higher power, is a huge part of my story and my life today. However, as a writer, this puts me in quite a pickle. The word "God" has gotten so wrapped up in so many stigmas of society that sometimes we skip over an article entirely at the sight of it. We miss the bigger, more beautiful message because we're reminded of heading to confessional at age 7, having to say 10 hail Marys, or worrying nervously each Yom Kippur that God would forget our name when writing down everyone else's in the book of life. I'll speak for myself when I say it's challenging to use the word "God" as a writer for fear that my readers are going to run away screaming. On the other hand, if I don't include God as part of my writing, I would be leaving out half of my story. What to do?
I think the answer is obvious: I'm going to have to talk about God in order to maintain the authenticity that enables my writing, but I'm also going to use my writing to speak out about what God really means to me (think less Dr. Evil, more Glinda the Good Witch.) I've struggled with this greatly in the last four years as I long to talk about this part of my journey but fear the audience reaction. Then, I think about all of my heroes and how they have connections with a Great Spirit, and the fear dissipates.
Perhaps I write this tonight in hopes that one person's mind will open to the concept of God as more than just a jury in the clouds, but I think I write it more so for myself. If nothing else, we can call this my formal introduction to you as the writer behind The Light Files, my way of saying:
"Hey guys, thanks for reading, but I wouldn't be able to write any of it if it weren't for that guy in the back."