An Uncaring God, by Lucinda Gunnin (Unsent Letters Religion Theme)

Dear God:

Please don’t take this letter to mean that I am not still mad as hell at you.  Some days merely trying to believe in your existence is difficult. Today, I believe. I’m just not at all convinced that you care about your creation.

I wasn’t always this cynical.

As a child, I was so enthralled with my relationship with you that I wanted to tell everyone I knew how much I believed. I was at your church four or five days a week. I went on mission trips. For more than a decade, I thought you were my best friend. Life was tough, but I believed that God works in mysterious ways and that someday the struggle would be worth it.

Then, when I was in college, I lost faith in the church. Not in you, but in my church.  From the pulpit, men of God told me that my fellow Christians, specifically Catholics, were idolators and going to Hell because of their use of the saints in their prayers. I got mad. Some Catholics are among the best Christians I have ever met and to denigrate them based on doctrine differences was ridiculous. I was horribly offended at what the church did in Your name, but I was mad at the church, not You. I still believed you cared, that you were omnipotent and omniscient.

I was wrong.

Just before I turned 30, my life fell apart. I cried and screamed and prayed for justice and truth to prevail to no avail. People who called themselves Christians were the worst, stealing away the most precious thing in my life, my daughter. They judged me based on the same foul standards as the church I left in college and I tried with all my might to believe that you cared. That somehow you would make it all better, that you cared about me and my heartbreak. But you didn’t.

In Your name, these people stole my reason for living. And, I might as well have died. Friends with faith tried to convince me that it was part of your plan, that perhaps you knew best for me and her and that there was some reason for my pain. I didn’t care. If you were indeed omniscient and omnipotent, you could have prevented my pain, stopped me from loving her so much, stopped the foul lies that stole her away, but you didn’t.

So, I got mad. I felt betrayed. I stopped talking to you. I’ll throw up the ’Hail Mary’ pass of prayer once in awhile for people who are comforted by such things, but I don’t believe you’ll listen. I don’t believe that God answers prayer. I believe God has ordained to do what He wants and the rest of us suffer for it. “If you ever suffered it was me who did the crying,” became my favorite line in song. I knew that while God might be the opiate of the masses, for me He was a knife in an open wound, distant and unfeeling, unwilling to alter His plan for the child He claimed to love.

Faith, I have come to know, is simply a way to appease the people, to convince those who suffer in this life that they will have better days. Guess what?  I don’t buy that anymore either.

Certainly, there were times when I missed that fellowship I once felt. I miss the old hymn on Christmas and dinner on the church grounds, but I came to realize I could get that feeling of fellowship with people other than Christians.  I hoped that you would send me a sign, something to tell me that my little life matters enough to draw your attention, but you didn’t. Now I hear the hymns and the words that once touched my heart are now nothing more than catchy refrains, written with a good beat.

As we approach this holiest of holidays, I considered reaching out, maybe attending the sunrise services at Bald Knob Cross to see if I could find my way back to faith. Turns out, the Cross is being repaired. Huge panels have been removed for renovation. Like my life, the Cross will be incomplete this Easter, missing parts because its caretakers let it fall into disrepair. Somehow, it seems fitting, a visual representation of the way my relationship with you stands.
The question remains, will the rebuilding take place?

My faith is disappearing more each day as I see person after person of faith suffer needlessly because you are too busy to answer the prayers of your people. They are beaten down and abused and yet we are told to have faith.

Don’t tell me about the trials of Job. I can’t listen anymore. Tell me stories of God’s people rewarded for their faith, because right now I just don’t see it.
I wish I did.

Until I do, Easter is nothing more than a day of ham and bunnies and one more reminder of what God’s will has taken away.

I miss her every day and that pain reminds me how much I don’t miss you.

Formerly faithful,

Cindy Gunnin is a writer, reporter and heartfelt proponent of freedom of religion as well as freedom from religion living in Southern Illinois. She lives with her husband and one very spoiled cat. She pretends to be more cynical than she is and has been described more than once as a “tough softy.”

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6 Responses to “An Uncaring God, by Lucinda Gunnin (Unsent Letters Religion Theme)”

  1. Cathy Doheny says:

    Wow, Cindy, this is one heck of a great letter! Your last line says it all! I also liked this sentence:
    “If you were indeed omniscient and omnipotent, you could have prevented my pain, stopped me from loving her so much, stopped the foul lies that stole her away, but you didn’t.”
    Christians want to claim that God is omniscient and omnipotent, yet bad things happen to innocent people all the time. So,should we conclude that God simply doesn’t care? As you said, it sure seems that way much of the time. But, the Christians always have an answer for you to explain away the injustices. Like you, I just don’t buy it.

  2. Linda St.Cyr says:

    I wish I had the words to comfort you and give you an explanation. I’m sorry I don’t.

  3. Gillian says:

    Like Linda, I wish there was some way I could comfort you but everything sounds so cliched and contrite. Believe in the people who love you Cindy and in yourself.

  4. My heart is breaking for you and your pain, Cindy. Your letter has me in tears. Losing a daughter… I can’t imagine.

  5. Andi Caldwell says:

    Powerful. I think you will find your way back. You seem like a very spiritual person who is searching for answers. I wish I could heal your pain or tell you what path to follow, but I can’t. Instead I wish you peace.

  6. Angel says:

    I’m so sorry for you pain, Cindy. I didn’t know about your daughter. I can’t imagine losing a child. It would probably test anyones faith. I wish only the best for you.

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