I write this to you Lord God with the confidence of someone who has experienced your friendship. Recognizing my ignorance of you, which I happen to think is shared by all of humanity regardless of how much time they spend self-righteously or honestly probing for understanding. And yes, I understand there is some cynicism in that. I suspect you can handle it.
+ And that is what I want to reflect on for you in this missive. Friendship. Of all that you might offer and/or have to offer, and rightly or wrongly, this is the second greatest of gifts(the first being free will) to my way of thinking. I understand the symbolism of Christs love, the implications of all the omni-s (omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscient, etc… .), all those things that make you a God. And sometimes I appreciate them. Sometimes not. Call it imperfection, but then that imperfection is built in based on your rules, is it not? I am a captive based on the nature of not only myself, but my predecessors, as it is written. The free will you granted to them and the results of the decisions they made are now a part of my nature, like it or not. That is the system, the rules…. the way it is … your way; ln’sh’allah.
First of all, let me examine for you how I think about friendship. One would presume that you know this already, omniscience and all, so call this an acknowledgement. Friendship is a two way street. Both contribute something. Your contribution is infinite, if poorly understood. Mine is finite, limited by my nature. Obviously, you are willing to overlook a lot, accept even more, and still be a friend.
I recall one of my parents favorite hymns, entitled “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”. A beautiful song they would sing in that tenor/contralto harmony they had. It is a song of gratitude to you (or at least 1/3 part of you). But it talks nothing of the other side of the friendship, and that has bothered me for a long time. For friendship to work, there must be something of value from both sides.
So, assuming friendship also recognizes value. I have to ask myself; What value do I bring to the friendship? I don’t know the complete answer to that, but I have developed my own sense of it, based on experience.
You see, friendship implies respect. Mutual respect, and self-respect. That is why free will is the greatest gift; It shows respect on your part for that which (however you went about it) is your creation. And thus, a certain level of self respect with regard to friendship is incumbent on those of us who regard ourselves as your friends. Right or wrong, I see this as simple logic which is reflected in the rest of creation. I don’t hold much stock in this ‘get on your knees and denigrate oneself’ shit. It is illogical. It is inconsistent with basic doctrines. While one must recognize ones own deficiencies, even within the confines of a friendship, that acknowledgement is an act of self-respect and of respect for the friendship itself as well as the friend. Call me proud, but I will not get on my knees and beg for your friendship. I will respect it and cherish it, but I will not beg.
I may, and have asked for forgiveness, and there has been plenty of that to ask for. But I ask for it out of respect for myself as much as my respect for you. I do want that to be clear. Mostly for myself I suppose.
Friendship is a rocky road. There are plenty of potholes along the way. In particular for me, as my side of the friendship is hampered by human weakness. I have (and probably will again) cussed you and cussed at you in the most eloquent of Marine Corps verbiage. I get frustrated with you and your methods, quite often in fact. That said, when I settle down and get back to rationality, a do so much appreciate your being there and understanding my frustration. I count on that.
I currently face (and have been facing for some time now) my mortality. It is truly a disappointment as there are so many things that I feel are important for me to do, and yet am unable, literally, to do them. I have cussed you out good for that, and I am sorry. But I will not get on my knees and beg you for forgiveness. I will simply stand and state my transgression, and count on your understanding. That is my faith.
As long as I am at it, I will tell you flat out that organized religion is not for me. I understand you set up the church as the bride of Christ. Well, consider me an illegitimate child. Organized religion is nothing but a shit-storm that has devastated humanity too many times already and continues to do so. I refuse to participate. It has become a tool used to control people who think too little and follow too easily. So that little gift is one I keep at a distance. Sorry if that is an offense, but there you have it. My free will, my choice. I suspect the Bride is happier for it anyway.
Well enough for one day. I stand proudly grateful for your friendship, and proud to be a friend. Thanks!