Sunday, March 25, 2007

An Open Letter To God . . .










Dear God:

I know you love me very much. If you didn’t there’s no way my life would have turned out the way it did. Remember when I got my driver’s license, and to celebrate I went out with three of my craziest friends, and we all got drunk as hell? Remember? I decided to try to drive home and got pulled over by a State Trooper? Two of my friends were passed out in the back seat and I was driving the wrong direction. The car reeked of booze. The Trooper looked at my license and told me my house was the other direction. He wished me a happy birthday and got me turned around the right way. Remember? No ticket, no arrest! I’m sure you were there with me that night. There’s just no other explanation.

Remember how you always made sure things worked out for me when I got in trouble with girls, or with school, or bullies? You were there all of those times too, I just know it. There’s just no other explanation.

Remember the time I went to that club where the girls danced naked on little stages, and I was so drunk the bartender took away my keys? The girls took my wallet right out of my pocket and helped themselves. The bouncer threw me out onto the parking lot and punched me. That was the time I woke up sitting next to my truck in the parking lot of the club. My eye was swollen and some jerk had put a Big-Mac on my head while I was passed out. Hours later I went back into the club and told the bartender I was ok and wanted my keys and he gave them to me. Remember? And then while I was driving home I fell asleep. I was on I-95 doing about seventy. My truck hit a concrete barrier on the right side of the road and the front end popped way up into the air like I was doing a wheelie! Remember? I fucked up my truck real bad, but I didn’t lose control and wreck it. And the most amazing this was that I cut my tire so badly it should have popped then and there, but you kept the air inside of it until I got not just home, but to work the next day. The air was out of it when I got off work, but that was ok, because I was able to blame someone else for hitting my truck in the parking lot. I got away with that too. Remember? You had a major hand in that. There’s just no other explanation.

I know you remember this. When I was in rehab, they told me that if I didn’t believe in you and accept that you existed, I was doomed to addiction for life. And you fucking know what I told those bastards? Not only did I tell them to go fuck themselves, I took a sheet off of my bed and took it with me into a stairwell. I climbed all the way to the top, crying all the way, because I couldn't get myself to be ok with the possibility of you. At the top of the stairs was an iron horizontal bar about 7 feet off the ground. It was PERFECT! I tied the sheet around the bar and made sure it was strong and wasn’t going to pull free. Then I tied the sheet around my neck. Remember? But you made the nurse make a mistake that night, didn’t you? You made the nurse give me TWO thorazine instead of one. She NEVER gave me two before that night. And when they kicked in, it was like getting hit with concrete and being filled up with lead. They found me at the bottom of the stairs unconscious with the sheet tight around my neck. It had come completely untied from the bar. I’m telling you, it was tight right before I put the sheet around my fucking neck and you know it was! Don’t even tell me you had nothing to do with that because it’s bullshit. You did that. You did that to me. There’s just no other explanation.

But that was then. That was before I loved you. That was before I opened my heart to love and forgiveness. That was when I needed proof, even though I wasn’t asking for any. That was before I found myself. And since then, you’ve given me more and more and more. More of everything I could ever ask for in spite of the fact that I rarely ask for anything. And when I do ask, what do I ask for? What do I ask for?! Just your help and never more than I need. I never ask to win the lottery and I never ask you to make sports teams win. I never ask you to heal anyone or keep people alive. I just ask you now and then to give me strength - to help me get through things that I’m willing to do myself. I just ask, now and then, if I can hold onto your sleeve. Sometimes I ask you to hold my hand. I never ask you to carry me.

Anyway, I thought I’d ask you for some real help today. I’m in trouble God. I’m in trouble at work. I’ve bitten off more than I can chew and I’m gagging. I’m choking to death God, and if I don’t find a way out of this mess quickly, I’m going to lose everything I’ve ever worked for. I want to do like I’ve done before and just give it all to you. That’s always worked and you’ve never let me down. But this time it feels like I’m asking for too much, even for you. Or perhaps I’m asking for more than anyone should be entitled to ask for. Either way, I feel like I’m fucked. Help me God. Please help me. I’m drowning in work. I’m tired. You’re the only one who can help. And there’s just no other answer.

20 comments:

poet with a day job said...

Dennis - this is one of the best prayers I have heard in a long time. Thanks for sharing it with me. I needed to be reminded of the big HP today. I tend to get so mired in "doing my footwork" that I end up saying "why didn't I get this? I did all this work!" Because you get what you are supposed to get, not what you think you should get, even if it does seem sensible. And it always does because like you, I never ask for much, so when I do, it just seems - wrong and strange. The answer to that, I realize in reading your prayer, is to ask for more...not specific things (I agree with you I do the same - pray for things like strength) but to invite God in more often so it doesn't feel so weird, or big or strange. God doesn't want me to be so independent. He wants me to be on his team. I need to remember to still do footwork, but not so much so that there is nothing left for God to do. In other words: pass the ball, God's totally open!"

Ha! And I really love the asking to hold onto God's sleeve idea. How terrific is that. Now, when I visualize calming down and inviting God in, I am going to picture myself grabbing a wad of sleeve and flowing on the wind.

dennis said...

It's amazing how little we need from God to get by, and even more amazing how impossible life is even without that little bit. I like your analogy of having God on your team and remembering to pass. I think I need to learn to pass earlier in the play and not wait until I’m buried under six linebackers! I’m glad you liked this M.

Brian said...

((((Dennis))))

I have great admiration for your honesty and bravery. Asking for help is probably the toughest thing to do. Please know that you have my love and support.

Go team. :)

Dennis said...

Thanks Brian! It's great to be on the same team with you! The love is most appreciated.

Robin (Capitulation) said...

Wow, Dennis, this is such an honest, heartfelt prayer. Remember, God speaks us in that still, small voice. And like you said, it's a learning experience. Learn to be good to yourself by passing earlier in the play. How ironic -- this is just what I need to hear; I'm working on the very same thing! Keep up the good work! This too shall pass...

iamnasra said...

www.livinginpoetry.blogspot.com has a tribute for Paul of spiritualdiablog and now in his new website www.originalfaith.com. Hope u can join us in this tribute and if you can helps us spread the word among his blog friends
Thanks, see u there

Dennis said...

Robin - thanks for the kind words, as always, and wishing you love and comfort through your difficult times as well.

Karen said...

Dennis - I had tears in my eyes after reading your prayer. I must admit I was a wee-bit shocked about the language use (I try to keep my prayers and language use clean), BUT it lend truth and true feeling to it. It felt like you are taking clips from my heart and mind and pasting it right here.

Naming our feelings and giving expression to our deepest thoughts and emotions are difficult at best and often we need a bit of help and guidance in the right direction.

Thank you for your brutal honesty (as I believe writers always give something of themselves when they write). Thank you for giving words I can use to express my feelings and emotions. Thank you for being so brave. And thank you for for not being ashamed of who you are.

Ka

PS: I loved the bit about holding on to God's sleeve. I also liked Michelle's bit about being on God's team and passing the ball. We are brought up to believe that asking for help is weak. Ah! that is just wrong!

Dennis said...

Karen - thanks for the kind words and sorry about the harsh language. I tend to use those kinds of words frequently, but if I filtered them out, then I wouldn't be expressing who I truly am. I'm glad you got something from my post. It was very honest and very sincere.

Angie said...

Dennis. I send you good thoughts to get through this. Good luck and may God answer your prayers.

Dennis said...

Thanks Angie! They're always answered - every time I ask! I'm very fortunate!! And thanks for the kind thoughts.

Karen said...

Dennis - There is really no need to apologize. As mentioned before I appreciate you honesty and bravery! Again, it feels like I can't express my gratitude and how much your words meant to me. THANK YOU!

Ka

Karen said...

D - Sorry me again. Don't mean to spam your blog. I would like to ask permission to print and cut your wonderful and inspiring bitty pieces and stick it into my "Book of Quotes." With full credit naturally!!! Pretty please??? :-D

Thnx Ka

dennis said...

Of course Karen. You're welcome to anything here. I'm mostly just thinking out loud.

Paul said...

Picking up on a couple things that have been said: "This too shall pass" is good for a HUGE percent of life's problems. A huge percent of all wisdom is digested into those four words. It's a good thing to keep in mind for perspective.

Building in even a little down time in your day to day life - I found that invaluable. Maybe something to consider if you're not already doing it. It wasn't always the same thing but for me a couple major things that helped were jogging early in the morning, hardly any traffic, very peaceful; and meditating. I found meditating really frustrating in a way because for the first several months nothing seemed to be "happening." But it was truly a calming and actually transformative influence over time - and it took twenty to thirty minutes a day, so it was a real "bargain."

Rach said...

Oh....my.....god! Big tears just dropped from my chin. Loved your prayer. Hope your prayer gets answered soon

Dennis said...

Paul - good advice indeed. I view my spiritual life as a vertical line and my physical experiences as a horizontal line. Often life on the horizontal line gets really crazy (like now). I try to spend some time each day on the vertical axis apart from what's going on around me. I get there all kinds of ways, but it always requires intentionality. Meditating is part of my bag of tricks. Thanks!

Rach - thanks for the kind words and for reading!

gautami tripathy said...

Well, I said what I had to in my comment on your post next to this.

la vie en rose said...

...*tears, tears, tears*...thank you for writing this...for your courage and your honesty...

Dennis said...

Michelle - thanks for reading this. And I'm glad you got something out of it. Much love.