Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Geoff and the Book of Job

My son is mad at God right now and is kind of living a Schrodinger's Cat experience with whether or not God exists for him... He neither feels nor sees an existence of God in his life, and right now things are so negative for him, that he can neither believe nor disbelieve until he gets some evidence of one versus the other. He is very upset about our housing situation and where he may have to go to school (or not) next year.

He keeps saying "maybe your God can figure this out soon" or "why is your God doing this to us?"

For some of you of faith you may be shocked that he's in a God is neither dead nor alive place, a place of anger and doubt. Others may say that it's good that he goes through this period of refinement of his thoughts. And others yet will say that it is good that he has lost his belief because God does not exist.

Whatever happens, Geoff certainly is developing. And in some ways I think we all are always developing.

Anyway, our pastor is going on sabbatical, but for a year or so he's been offering to take Geoff on a fishing trip in his little boat. Geoff loves the ocean and the water in any form, and he was thrilled to go. He had to catch one fish for his fishing merit badge, as he had done all the other work on that badge at last year's summer camp. But the entire week, the fish weren't biting. Rob wanted to help him finish the badge,and this past Saturday it worked out that all three of them were all free, so Rob extended the invitation to go out and fish.

I wanted Geoff to have some more time with Doug without me, and some time with the Pastor Rob. I told him it is safe to share his anger, doubts and fear with Rob. Rob is kind and understanding and I think you could even go so far as to say mean horrible things about God and Rob would understand. Unlike a lot of pastors that might pitch you into the sea and yell "get thee behind me Satan" or something like that. There are few people for Geoff to talk to on earth outside of these walls that will love and understand him and not get angry with him. And Rob is one of those guys. 

We got to the marina, I left, and off they went. Rob had three fishing poles with him, and one had a quadruple hook rig on it that he called a Christmas Tree. He gave that one to Geoff in hopes it would quadruple the chances he'd catch a fish.

Geoff cast the line into the water, and in 90 seconds the pole dipped. He reeled it in and all 4 hooks had fish on them. Three mackerel and a pollock. Rob was kind of stunned. "Beginner's Luck!" he said. Geoff said "hey, I've been fishing dozens of times! I am not a beginner!"

They spent three more hours out there and only caught one other fish. They went to clean out Rob's lobster pots, and Geoff was a natural out there, banding the claws, doing the measurements, scooping up the buoys with the hook stick and hauling them on board.

When they told me the four fish story, I had to laugh.

Geoff had a need, to catch ONE fish and have his picture taken with it, and in literally the first breaths of the trip caught fourfold of what his need was. If I was there, I would have pointed out that maybe Geoff  maybe should have started to think a little bit about God giving him more than his need right at that point... Rob held his tongue too but thought the same thing. But we think Geoff had an inkling about time, provision, and how things work out sometimes.

When they got back to the marina, Geoff said to Rob "so, I caught some fish. Maybe your God can find us a place to live next."

Rob let that statement go and didn't point out that "hey, isn't he your God too, maybe you can turn to him and ask him for his help." That fell to me and Doug on the way home. Sometimes asking someone else's God to do something for you may only result in you getting nothing. Except angrier that things aren't working out the way you want.

Doug talked to Geoff about the book of Job. I never like to use Job as a talking point with people because it starts out with the devil and God making a wager on Job, and how Job would react to the suffering that was to come. I really hate that concept. But some of it resonated with Geoff, and he has softened his anger. Knowing that God comes to Job in the whirlwind and says "there's a lot going on that you don't know, won't understand, and don't need to know. Were you there when I created the heavens and the earth? The whales and the animals?" Doug said that it is basically a "listen, smartass" response from God to Job, and that we do not and cannot understand what God's plans and reasons are. Job accepts this answer, the devil gives up and says that God wins, and God then blesses Job tenfold.

I hate the book of Job. I really do. But if it is the thing that helps my son connect to his place in the universe and in creation and in the process of what's happening with us now... heck I'll take it.

Anyway. Apologies to those of you who don't like the God stuff. It's a big part of my life so it is included. If you do pray (or, if you prefer the term "send mojo) we could use the prayers and positive energy.

Cast your line on the water... see what you get back.

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