I've been thinking lately about how often I fall into the "Indiana fundamentalist Christian" camp of assuming God's doing bad things. I think it's because I swim in the water of Midwestern fundamentalist thought too much for my taste, and then feel infiltrated in every pore by conservative thought.
I grew up in Indiana. I actually grew up only blocks from where I live now (and that's a whole 'nother random story of how I ended up back here, the spiraling of life back on itself). I am accustomed to "swimming against the stream." I remember being told when I was in elementary school that I was going to hell because my father made the choice to leave the local United Methodist church as a pastor. I remember the disdain in the girl's voice when she hissed, "And to think...you're a minister's daughter!" when I didn't agree with her about whether Christians could listen to "mainstream" music (she claimed that the gate was narrow, as you know, and only a few could enter). I was the heathen girl who stayed outside the gate.
Last night R. and I watched the movie "Saved" with T. and B. It was an important movie for me to have them see, as it satirizes so much of what we live with in the Midwest. Praying for George W. (actually, I pray for George W. too, but my prayers are mostly like this, "Please, God, may George W. realize how incompetent he is and resign, but no wait, if he does that than Dick Cheney might step up and he's worse...so, please, um...well, please let them not be too mean. And please let all the laws they enact be laws that can be repealed when a more competent leader is elected."), inviting people up for altar calls, and assuming those who disagree with you haven't "found Jesus," is a mentality I find all to common in Fort Wayne.
It's making my head and my heart hurt.
I made a monumental decision this morning, as I stayed home from church. I lit candles in our library and sat on the floor in the silence and prayed, "God, please help me to be less cynical. Please help me to remember to respond with love to those who make me weary. Please provide me with the courage to reclaim Your call, because I'm simply so tired of not finding You here in Indiana."
But I don't think this is all "on God." A big part of it is learning to see with new eyes. So, I guess I'm praying for a divine opthamologist. I'm patient. It'll come.
So be it.