Sunday, September 05, 2004

God Forsaken

There is a man who lives near where I work who loves to paint signs with his opinion on them. He uses so much red and white paint that it makes one want to go out and buy stock in a paint company. Today the sign in his yard said: If God loves everyone there would be no need for a hell".

That phrase bothered me all day. I pondered it, and considered it, and deconstructed it from every angle until I found the flaw in this man's thinking.

God does love everyone and must do because God is Love. To do anything else except love everyone would make God a liar, which is impossible because as we know from Jesus, He is the truth. BUT: God is also the WAY, if we follow God, we will always be on our way toward God.

God loves us all, and the deepest longing of God’s heart is for us to live in God’s Agape love for all eternity. That is why God keeps reaching out to us, no matter how much we reject God's love God continues to give us everything we need (notice here I say everything we need, not everything we want).

God must love, but because God created us with free will, we can choose to accept or reject God's love. If we accept God's love, we want to do what is pleasing to God. As Thomas Merton said I do not know where I am going, but I know that my wanting to do your will is in itself pleasing to you (or something similar to that). When we chose to reject God's love and do things that are displeasing to God, we have chosen to live outside God’s Agape (love). God has not made that choice for us.

So, God can love everyone, and there can still be a place called hell, which in this case is the place; freely chosen by some, who wish to live without God's love for all eternity. Not some place I wish to experience.

We are only God forsaken, if we choose to be.

All I can say is God loves everyone, which only proves that God has no taste, Thank GOD!!!!!!!

Pax

2 comments:

Suzanne said...

In your writing, you refer to a prayer by Thomas Merton... I did
recognize it because that is how I first learned of him...

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"

I liked this prayer because it came to me when I was first really
trying to improve my spiritual prayer life and it sounded so much the way I felt from the very first line. Thanks for reminding me of it - I haven't seen it in awhile, so I printed myself out a nice copy.

I pray for this opininated sign painting man as well as for myself.
We all need to realize that God does still love us - that He has not forsaken us but maybe just the opposite and sometimes we just need to open our eyes and hearts a little wider to know and see.
This man has probably overlooked many times the many faces of Jesus
and His Love in his corner of the world. What is sad about a sign
like that is how young people who may be going through struggles and questioning and may not take the time to ponder as you and I have and may choose to take it at face value. Perhaps someone could think about making a sign or two nearby that would have a
different sort of effect and message! Just a thought!

quid said...

I find it hard to tell what he meant by the sign. He might be angry at god or he might not believe in god or he might mean something else. It'd be interesting to ask him what he meant.

I doubt if I would ask him if I had the chance. I know, I'm chicken.