When I came back to church, I made a decision: God is good. Sure, the words etymologically have the same root. “God=good” should be a given. But it wasn’t for me growing up. God was something to be feared. Church was something to suspect. And Christians were creepy people who’d lost their minds in a haze of naivete. My exit from church was my
enlightenment. And if I was going to reassess my assumptions, I bargained for one thing: I would only come back if God was good, at all times, no exceptions. Practically, this meant that whenever I encountered a gnarly piece of scripture where the story being told was of God’s wrath, rather than use it as evidence of God’s brutality, I had to stop and ask myself: “How might this be evidence of God’s love?” Might the storyteller misinterpreted the events, choosing fear over awe? Might I be misinterpreting the storyteller, choosing suspicion over faith? It’s not easy to give thanks in
every circumstance. Some moments are miserable. But gratitude has been a more life-giving way to discover God’s love than my distrust ever was. And I'm so thankful to be
God, retrain my reflexes from fear to awe, from anger to compassion, from despair to hope, from suspicion to curiosity, from distrust to faith. Thank you for your constant presence in my life. Even when the night is long, I will sing songs of joy and gratitude for your goodness. Amen.