Wrote this in early October:
Martyrdom by pinpricks
Can't remember where I read that
But pinpricks, continual, persistent, can be painful and hard to endure.
How difficult to hold back the words, the retorts, the anger!
Leave me alone! I just want to be alone and live my own life, my way.
But he looks on, smiling at my weaknesses
Look through the forest,
work your way through the maze, ignore the pinpricks,
the dross, the padding
and go to the heart of the matter.
That God is love.
Active, real love.
The love of God will defeat the pinpricks, the dross, the superficial.
It will pull the mighty from their thrones and raise the lowly.
It will fill the starving, send the rich away empty.
If love is not there, He is not either.
I was feeling increasingly isolated as my thoughts led me to places where I did not want to go.
A God of love- and hell?
The notion of justice and even the NT sayings- the weeping and gnashing of teeth, the lake of fire
I read Orthodox writings on hell, universalist, but nothing could satisfy my unease about accepting that one day, those I love might face eternal seperation from god and that would be justified because they "chose" it
I thought of those who had no choice, whose lives were hell on earth but for whom salvation did not come
I was trying to bring it to them, in my "secular" way, as one poster put it, but to no avail
And the good news of salvation of a god who is capable of burning his creation for all time was not going to help
What about those with honestly held convicitons?
Ah, invincible ignorance, was the reply
But this was new and to my uneducated eyes, seemed a distinct change, a sop to more liberal times
Bosch and his pictures remined me that those of the past relished in the punishment of the heathens
I read The Divine Mercy and was sadly unmoved
And my reading started going in a new direction, focusing on the historical nature of the gospels
Geza Vermes pointed me to a new possibility, one I had not considered
And in a bookshop, a small book caught my attention, the author one I'd long since heard of
A Short History of Myth
In retrospect, that proved the turning point...
So October ended with a trip to NYC, with two friends
I went to church twice, I saw lots of religious art
But my mind was working overtime
What if? kept coming into my head
What if I'm wrong?
What if God doesn't exist?
Initially I began to think I could carry on, pretend, live as if he did, but then other things started to insinuate their way into my head
Hell, once more, the tool of torment on earth
To make people behave in ways often alien to their nature
And those who strayed had better beware
Gay? Live a life of celibacy and don't even think of being a priest
Inflicted with problems with childbirth- no contraception for you if you wish to stay in the church
The difficulties of those who were drawn to sexual sins, the guilt, the anguish, the self hatred
I thought upon things I had read written by living breathing beings, who could quite easily say that such a type of person would go to hell and praise god's goodness in the same breathe
But not all were like that
And I so wanted to hang on..
Journal 6th November:
Things I need to do...
Awake all night in pain
I must go to the doctors next week!
My friends have all confidently and independently decided it's a gastric ulcer
and it's certainly not all in the mind, so I better go and get it sorted. I
can't cope with the lack of sleep any longer!
Also in one of those awful hanging on by a thread state of minds.
Trying to stay well away from topics that may just tip me over, because I've
been at the end of my tether before but never discovered what happens when the
tether runs out..Do you plunge screaming into the abyss?
Because that's what I forsee and I don't want that at all
Hence the need to avoid certain discourses
But too much is going on in my head (lack of sleep is not good) and the thread
is getting thinner and thinner
And perhaps confronting the problems might put them to bed forever, instead of
snapping the thread