The price we will not pay

I was reminded yesterday of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. A German Lutheran priest, he spoke out against the Nazi party from the start and he paid for it with his life.

There are too many champagne nationalists these days, I think. They talk about or campaign for things all from the safety and comfort of their homes or cafes. But big things require big sacrifices. And I’m not so sure the people who start all these armchair activism endeavours are prepared to give up more than the price of a latte.

What would I give up? Would I have the courage of Bonhoeffer to speak the truth, even if it would mean I could ultimately lose my life?

I’d like to think so but part of me wonders if I would, in the end, give in to my own cowardice.

Dear God, sod off

The good news is that I’ve finished the lyrics for a song that keeps running in my head.

The bad news is that in my struggles over the last year to find a better coping mechanism, I’m finding that believing in God falls short.
Sounds nihilistic, right?

The problem with believing in God is believing He listens. That He’ll make it all right. If you just wait and believe that all things will happen in His time and not yours.
I don’t know where He is but I am beginning to think He’s not listening.
Or that He’s using me and asking a wee bit too much.

I lost counts of all the nights I pray that He will take away any desire that is not for Him. So I can just be happy and content being His little candle and burning away. Take away my desire for the one thing I want but can’t have.
Or at least take away the ‘black dog’.

Winston Churchill could deal with it but I’m not Churchill. Or Lincoln.
I admire the people who want to live even just one more day. I don’t. I don’t want anything. I have no dreams, no aspirations.
My conclusion: life is unfair. The world is a cruel, terrible place. People can be undeserving, horrible pricks and even if they are, sometimes life is better to them than to you.
I can’t change that. Who can?

I ask God to make it better. To make it stop. Three decades and I still walk around feeling like a big black hole.
If I keep believing in You, I’ll be unhappy with You. So God, I’ll just give up on You. You’re not listening and I’m beginning to wonder if You ever did. So sod off.

I am tired of being bitter and waiting on You. I’m tired of being sick and tired.
Instead I will accept the world is a dark and awful place but as long as I’m alive, I will put up with it and do as much good as I can anyway. Make things a little bit better for the other inmates of this sodding jail we call the world and do it because it’s needed. And not for You.
I’m so tired of You.

Dear God


See I’ve been wrestling with this problem

A pain that never ends

Wounds that never heal

Hurts that will not mend

I’ve asked You time and time again

For You to make it right

That maybe in this darkness

You’d care to shine some light
 Maybe you’re just a fallacy I want so much to believe

Or You’re the real problem, not the answer that I need


I’m tired of this

I’m tired of You

I’m tired of wondering just what You’re gonna do

I’m tired of pretending
that it’ll all be OK

That someday I’ll learn to stop feeling this way

Dear God, I’m tired
Lord hear me, I’m tired


I’ve asked You to make me over

Take away my selfish needs

That You’d be my only lover

For You’d be all my deeds

Yet You won’t take away this desire

For the one thing I can’t find

I wait for You to change me

Take the longing off my mind

I pray each day You’ll call to come around to take me Home
 Leave this pointless life and always being on my own

Repeat Chorus:


So now that I’ve decided I won’t believe in You no more

I’m tired of living with my heart and soul down on the floor

Why should I believe You’re listening?
It’ll only give me hope

When I should just accept that life will always be unfair
 And that it will stop hurting once I learn just not to care…
About You.

I still feel the same

Was it just a few months past that my heart kept me up in the middle of the night, whimpering into the stillness?
Now it is still late and I can hear it humming.
My heart’s learned to sing again but nowadays it sings for just one.
“I have never left. I will never leave you.”
I sacrificed my broken, contrite heart and You have taken it, when I should have left it in Your keeping all along.
Through all the pain, through all the darkness and the uncertainty, You have taught me that You are more constant that any human soul could be.
Whatever happens. You are still my God.

Seeking better counsel

I’ve struggled over the years with faith.

I profess to believe in God, I say that I want to do what He wills and be what He wants.

Then I go off the path into the wilderness and royally screw myself over.

The worst bit is when I go to bed with a heavy heart and wake up in the morning still feeling ill at ease.

What have I done, dear Lord, what have I done?”

I’m so tired of living this way. Of turning to Him only 10 percent of the time while asking for guidance from my whims, my desires and my poor imposed upon friends the other 90 percent.

There are so many things I need to know. So many things I need to practise. So many things that I need to stop clinging to.

These lines from Derek Webb’s I Repent resonate the most with me right now:

I am wrong and of these things I repent.

I repent, I repent of parading my liberty
I repent. I repent of paying for what I get for free
and for the way I believe that I am living right
by trading sins for others that are easier to hide
I am wrong and of these things I repent

I’ve been wrong.

Dear God, give me the strength to start living my life right.

On no side but God’s

I’ve always been forthright about my political views. But after some reassessment, I’m going to declare openly my nonpartisanship.

Perhaps you’ll call me chicken or think that this is motivated by my being in PR. No, my backbone is still very much intact, thanks very much. My decision was motivated by Billy Graham’s example. A while ago, he publicly declared his support for the Republican party and Senator John McCarthy, communist witchhunter extraordinaire.

But Graham exercised that one power we all human beings possess – he changed his mind. Despite being attacked by the Christian right, he moved away from their circle and in answer to their condemnation, he said:

"I don’t think Jesus or the Apostles took sides in the political arenas of their day.”

From now on, I will (attempt to) reserve comments on our politicians. Believe me, they irk me on both sides of the fence.

I refuse to be a member of any political party, of any politically-affiliated body or concern myself with politics. It takes a certain kind of person to be a politician and thankfully, I’m not one. But I will concern myself with issues that need voicing. The growing divide between rich and poor. The inadequacy of our education system. The pitiful support structure for our arts scene. The suffering of migrants and the displaced.

Those concern me because I believe that God would want me to give a damn about those things, and not politics. So before you accuse me of not caring about my country, I will tell you that I choose, instead, to care about its people. And all people.

Thomas Merton said it best

“Dear God” cover

Image via Wikipedia

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
– Thomas Merton, "Thoughts in Solitude"

It shames me that I keep forgetting to put God in the centre, above all concerns. When I had two chances to serve in January, I turned them away, mistakenly thinking that what was served on a silver platter was what I needed.

Dear God, why am I deaf to what you tell me? Why do I hear only what I want to hear? Why do I make decisions based on my wanton desires, my injurious ego, my misplaced pride? In short, I’ve been selfish, self-absorbed and really, not much more than a glorified pissant.

I asked the wrong questions; I heard the wrong answers. So many times, my paralysis from indecision could have been solved if I’d thought to myself: “What would You have me do?”

So I’m writing this here for all to read in the hopes that maybe I’ll remember more times than not to put you first.

I recall that scene in Return of the King where Faramir asks his father, “What would you have me do?” But I know that if I ask that of You, you would not throw away my life with no care, or little thought for it unlike Faramir’s patriach. The paths you could send me on might perhaps be dangerous, hard or lonely but I would rather walk them than spend an eternity without You. So take off my earmuffs, remove my blinders, and take my hand. Because I’m still here, still waiting for you as You have waited for me.

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Just as much me, among other things

Above the Ceiling

Image by ecstaticist via Flickr

I suppose it must disturb some of the people who read this blog how much I’ve talked about faith, and God and my beliefs.
Because a lot of them know me outside this blog, you see. They’ve seen the wanton incarnation of me – the occasionally inebriated, sometimes foul-mouthed, and she-devil grazing the edges of scandalous. So it’s jarring to compare that to this person who talks about God, and truth, and love and faith and grace.
And rainbows and kittens and puppies, ZOMG!
The reality is that I would be absolutely insufferable if it wasn’t for my faith. If I didn’t believe in God, His mercy and loving kindness, I would probably have booked myself on the highway of hedonism with a one-way ticket straight to a messy, early death. With all my wild, wanton ways, I’ve never touched marijuana. Try and push absinthe towards me and I’d laugh and tell you I’d rather keep my brain cells intact. Plus Guinness is better for you, anyway. At least that’s what the Irish would say.
I am not free of vices. I do tend to get too wrapped up in the men I’m seeing to the point I can ride better highs than any designer drugs (which I don’t touch either. Brr) but then tend to crash and burn painfully, and quickly. Yes, I’m a sick love junkie, which I’m slowly trying to fix with what I call God Rehab. Trust men, just don’t put your trust IN them – people are fallible and weak so if you really must put your trust in something, then let it be in God or whatever higher power you believe in.
If only believing in God was enough to make you a better person. To tell you the truth, I’d be a worse person if I didn’t believe. Take me apart and you’ll see that the cog, the wheel that somehow keeps me still somewhat together is the undying belief that Yes, Erna, There Is A God. And that He loves me for reasons unfathomable to me.