I don’t know how to address you, especially after all this time. I can’t imagine you this bearded old man (or woman) in the sky. I can’t imagine you perched in pages of someone’s testament. I can’t imagine you in a deep and unfamiliar voice that boldly sprouts from nowhere. So I write to you instead. My mother used to write you. She never knew this but as a child, I used to read her letters to you in her Bible. I know that was a violation of privacy but I’ve always been in love with words penned on pages. They tend to be more candid—or at least in our case. Her letters were uplifting and full of wonder; other broke my heart. Her faith quivered but I could tell that it was still there. I probably also thought that I could understand you more through her.
My parents always spoke of religion and you interchangeably but I could never fully embrace it. There seemed to be so many holes in religion and I feared coming off as the spawn of the devil if I dared to ask. A part of resented them for making me believe in notions that I did not seem to cling to. They seem so stifling and I imagined you as free and uninhibited as my thoughts. I’ve seen you in contagious laughs and spellbinding smiles of children, in kind eyes, in good thoughts and deeds, in poetry, in music, in art, in tears, in happiness, in every “I love you”, in every changing season—somewhere in the stillness swirling furiously and touching everything and everyone that crossed your path.
I guess you’ve noticed that we haven’t talked much in a while. I think I brushed off nearly all of your presence after you did not come when I needed you the most—as I was being raped. I began to see you differently. But I did talk to you sporadically—mostly as a promiscuous teen begging not to become pregnant. I promised that I would change my ways if you just granted this one prayer. That one prayer morphed into several more. It was our recurring storyline. I eventually realized that perhaps this wasn’t the type of prayer that you really wanted to hear. I mainly saw you as the modern day Plan B pill. I did not take you seriously. I saw you as a convenience and wondered if I somehow became a nuisance—an ungrateful child tugging on you.
When my sanity fluctuated, I asked you why I was born. I never hesitated to let you know how much I hated fragments of myself and life. After a couple of half-hearted suicide attempts as a teen, I contemplated a nonexistence throughout my entire adulthood. My guilt, self-destructive behaviors, and the lack of courage were the driving forces that kept me here (or so I thought). I wanted to prove to you that you weren’t as awesome as others pegged you out to be. I decided to disregard you. I rarely thanked you. I infrequently acknowledged you. I silently mocked those who were delirious in their love for you. You were that elephant in the room that I made sure I always tiptoed around in the dark to avoid. They say elephants never forget; neither did I no matter how hard I tried.
I was humiliated. I knew if I faced you, I would reek of disappointment. Disappointment would ooze from my pores and flood my entire being. I could picture the literal disgust on your figurative face. I could imagine you holding your nose and avoiding all eye contact. I had to spare myself from further embarrassment. I’m so filthy and can’t possibly see myself in you. Sure, I have some noble qualities but not too much of me is pure—especially my intentions. I am always faltering. I can’t even trust myself sometimes. You’ve tried to reach me through others. I’ve watched their lips move but wasn’t open to the vessel of truths that cascaded from them. You felt inaccessible to me. It’s like you’re in the VIP section and I’m on the outside watching you fulfill others because I was not properly dressed to grace your presence. It’s like you’re flying first class and I achingly peer through the curtains to see others licking their lips from the champagne of your being. I feel as though I cannot afford you. I feel spiritually bankrupted. I feel snubbed. Maybe I’m the one who has been snubbing you this entire time and for that I am sorry.
I am finding my way back to you. I’ve been away for far too long. Please forgive me for resenting you all these years. Please help me to forgive myself. Help me heal so I can forgive others. Help my find purpose. Help me to love myself. Help me to live my life without fear because I feel so consumed by it. Help me see the splendor of life. Save me from my destructive behaviors and thoughts. Lift me up because I’m tired of falling apart at the seams. I’m tired of doing this without you. I’ve treated you and myself with reckless abandon. I need help to make it up to the both of us. Thank you for the things that you’ve already done for me that I have so blatantly ignored. I will be more appreciative and receptive towards you.