Angry Conversations with God…

Angry conversations with God. I’ve had ’em. You’ve had ’em. The guy next to me at the coffee shop seems to be having one right now. Seriously. He looks like he’s about to start fist-fighting the air. I know he’s talking to God though, because he keeps rocking back and forth saying, “Oh, lord… Oh, God.” He’s definitely angry and… Yes, he is definitely fighting with God. And I think he is losing. Ha! It appears the Almighty has just hurt this guy’s feelings because now he’s pouting and his bottom lip is quivering and… OK, gross. He just passed gas. I’m sorry. It seems he was just having an angry conversation with a burrito. Good grief.

Moving on… So, we all have angry conversations with God, right? If you say that you don’t or you haven’t or you’d never ‘question the Savior or go to Him with anger in your heart,’ I would like to remind you that liars go to hell with their pants on fire. I’m just sayin’…

We all do it: “Why me?” “What for?” “How Long?” “But You promised!” “How dare You do this to me!?”

Sound familiar? Of course it does… You’re human. That’s what humans do. And those of us who are Christians are the worst! We have this unrealistic (and unbiblical) sense of entitlement that causes every one of us to question, condemn and become downright pissed off at the Creator of the Universe for something He hasn’t given us or allowed for us. Something we want. Something we simply must have… Or someone.

I know that’s how most of my ACWG start: Someone or some thing or some place or some job or some circumstance is not meeting a made-up, self-centered need and I go ballistic: “Why me?” “What for?” “How Long?” “But You promised!” “How dare You do this to me!?”

Think about it. We’re all fallen and self-centered and hurting and lost and needy individuals who cannot even begin to have the capacity to comprehend the vast treasures of God’s mercy and grace… So, we get angry… and we call Him out on the carpet. And you know what? He shows up…

Susan Isaacs has had A LOT of angry conversations with God. Susan is an actor, writer, comedienne… and friend of mine. I’ve never actually met her in real life, but our paths have crossed here and there over the past few years and I consider myself blessed to have found a kindred spirit with whom I can laugh and learn and languish and (other things that start with the letter “L” because alliteration is cool).

A few weeks ago, Susan sent me a copy of her book, Angry Conversations With God: A Snarky But Authentic Spiritual Memoir, and holy crap. I cannot recommend the book with any higher praise than to state the fact that I read it in 17 days. That might sound like a long time to some of you literary freaks, but if you know anything about me, you understand how big that is. Three other books make the short list of “TOOK BILLY LESS THAN A MONTH TO READ”: “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Kurt Vonnegut’s “Bluebeard” and Donald Miller’s, “Blue Like Jazz.” Yeah. It’s that good.

But don’t just take my word for it. Looky what Publisher’s Weekly wrote about it:

God in couples counseling? Sounds sacrilegious, but in the adept hands of comedian, writer and actress Isaacs, it’s a success. Isaacs reached bottom at age 40: no job, no boyfriend, no home. Of course, she blamed God. So off they went to counseling with the ever-patient therapist Rudy. Isaacs moves easily between recounting her life story and her counseling sessions. She describes encounters with the Nice Jesus of her Lutheran upbringing; the “Oakie” Pentecostal church and the militant counselor; the “Rock-n-Roll” church and the “Orthopraxy, Dude” church, plus her rocky acting career and her love life, including guilt-ridden sex and Mostly Mister Right. Isaacs readily admits to being snarky, but she’s honest about her quest and its conclusion: “I saw now all too clearly why I had married God: for the power and the glory. For the money.” Isaacs goes on a Job-like search for explanations from God, but instead finds the problem to be her. She’s funny, biting, earthy and brilliant. (Mar. 12)

I don’t know how I can possibly add to that praise… “she’s funny, biting, earthy and brilliant.” Well, there you go.

So, if you would like to go on a snarky journey with God in a very real and wonderful way (ahem… couple’s counseling), please buy Susan’s book.

You will be amazed, encouraged and absolutely entertained as you see God show up again and again and again.

*****

(I AM GOING TO GIVE AWAY 4 COPIES OF Angry Conversations With God: A Snarky But Authentic Spiritual Memoir THROUGH THIS BLOG. IF YOU FEEL LIKE SHARING, POST YOUR “ACWG” IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW OR EMAIL ME AT PROTAGONISTHEORY(AT)GMAIL.COM. I’LL PICK THE TOP FOUR STORIES* AND SEND YOU SUSAN’S BOOK FOR TAKING THE TIME TO PLAY…)

*”Conversations” must at least seem genuine and should also make me laugh. Outside of that, there are no rules.

CHECK OUT THESE IMPORTANT SITES:

Susan Isaacs

Hachette Book Group

ACWG website

Advertisements

6 Comments

  1. I don’t understand this context. I’ve never had an angry conversation with God. I just love Jesus. Okay, I’ll cut the crap. God and me have had a love/hate relationship for years. Actually, God’s always been my “homey”. But I do find myself questioning how so many people, reading the same story, find such…tragically different themes. Grace and mercy it seems are always at war with piety and righteousness. Enough already. I’m an ass and I can own that. Why can’t they, too? We’re all one family and we’ve ALL been reconciled to God through Jesus. Freewill seems a great concept as long as it’s mine. God help me extend it to others…Even the dumbasses that refuse to own it.

  2. “God, look, I know we’ve had some rough patches. I said some things I didn’t mean. You said some things you didn’t… well, you said some things. You pursued me. I ran away. I pursued you. You ran toward me. I was wrong. You were right. Okay, I get it! You’re perfect.

    Which is why I’m bringing this particular issue to you now. Because if I, with my tiny, little, time-constrained idiot brain can see this one, surely you’re way ahead of me; the suffering has got to stop. I’m not talking about the worldwide suffering of those who don’t know you and are mired in lives of hopelessness, false hope, false gods, godlessness and general suckitude. Nor am I speaking of the suffering of the poor, hungry, oppressed and blah blah blah. You say suffering builds character. I agree. Those folks must be seriously lacking in character.

    I’m speaking, of course, of my own suffering. Why? Not because I have all the perseverance, character and hope I’ll ever need. I’m sure there are a few nooks and crannies left to fill. And not because I feel entitled to live a life free of suffering. I really don’t. In fact, I’ve come to celebrate my suffering. As I have watched my savings dwindle, my unpaid debts pile up, my work wither and blow away like so much chaff, I have learned to embrace it all with an easy smile and a grateful heart. I rejoice in my sufferings. Really. In fact, I rejoice in my sufferings better than anyone I know. I have become the ultimate sufferer. And therein lies the problem: suffering has become an idol to me. I worship the suck.

    Like I said before, I’m sure you’re way ahead of me on this, but I think we can both agree that it’s high time you remove suffering from my life before it completely takes your place. And I don’t think this is one of those idols we should chip away at. No! I think we rip that sucker right out with, say…a seven-figure income? Okay, make it high six figures. In fact, I think that my spiritual maturity would best be served by a big dose of the gift of generosity. The pressures of wealth would certainly serve to humble my malady-worshipping heart.

    Now, I’m going to be out for a few hours shopping for a sailboat on which to repent of my most recent idolatry. But feel free to hit me back via Twitter when you’ve come up with a number that will make us both happy. I don’t want to delay this thing with protracted haggling, but I do want to run it by my agent before I commit to anything.

    And while you’re at it, I’m getting a little too self-righteous about being overweight and not terribly handsome. You might want to throw that one in the mix, too.

    Thanks, and you be with you,

    Wayne”

  3. Thanks, Billy! They say the best writing is always autobiographical. I don’t know if it’s the former, but it is most definitely the latter.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s