by Jane Tawel
When I Killed God
By Jane Tawel
April 24, 2021
While it’s true that as a child,
there were incidents, bad things that happened against my will,
(because of course, a child is born with a soul, but not a will);
and while my exposure to events I accidently lived,
were pale in comparison to those children over there,
that child that lives in a different yard than I did;
it was still a thing that happened to me early on,
that some adults who thought they loved me,
In fact, like you maybe,
I still have nightmares about that one person,
who abused the God in me.
And even the ones who thought they loved me best
by force-feeding me the formula of God-in-a-baby-bottle,
even those dear ones gave me some allergies,
and I have yet to heal from them.
But I can’t complain if I compare.
I lucked out that the pendulum swung,
mostly towards grown-ups who loved a God Who Was.
And that was enough,
For many years,
Until I found that a God-Who-Was,
didn’t make up for a God-Who-Isn’t.
At first it was simply a matter of making God too small.
I found Him and kept finding Him
for long years, hidden well among the wood pulp.
He had been manufactured and
stuck between the pages.
God looked good in black and white,
and we feasted on some words,
until our stomachs ached, and our minds grew dark
with the drink of self-righteousness.
Oh, yes, the words we chose were quite select;
while other Words were thrown out like
Our elders picked and chose
the parts of God to eat and then —
to use as fodder.
Oh, I was one of the lucky ones,
to have such a glut of God-food
to grow older, fatter and more secure.
But have you found, as I have,
that the more secure you are in what is on your outside,
the less secure you become about what might Be —
— inside of you?
Haven’t you found, that the more God you hoard,
the less God you have?
Maybe as I did, you stopped imbibing God,
and started instructing Him instead?
When I became smart, I became so afraid.
That’s when prayer became my tyranny of a God
that I could use for my benefit and mine own,
mine own, my own true loves,
(which by the way, God didn’t number among;
Well, maybe He did in word, but not in deed).
Yes, words in a book are easily idolized.
Words are so still and compliant.
Words can be raped and their unholy union made to be born.
Words can be quieted.
Like the children of famous men,
words are meant to be seen and not heard;
meant to be worshipped,
but not brought to life again in someone else.
The idea of actually living the words
is akin to plagiarism.
See, but don’t touch.
Read, but don’t do.
Admire and profit by, but don’t suffer and live.
Oh, please don’t get me wrong,
I love words and The Word.
Words can be made to look so pretty,
like lipstick on a pig,
like make-up on a corpse.
Unlike A LIVING GOD SPEAKS!, —
and we quickly shush Him;
a book can be so comforting,
so easily managed;
its little broken-up word-limbs lying there on pages,
scattered but contained in their little covered box;
or cremated and remembered as dust,
not “This is my Body, given for you. Take. Become.”
And God’s Word, what a life it once had!
Our eulogies are endless
as we look at God-Words that Were.
We stand around bereaved, but anxious to get back to work.
Our attention for mourning a Dead Word can only last so long,
maybe a few hours a week, tops.
Oh, thank goodness the Word of God
Passed away peacefully in Its sleep.
We sit in our pews and then file by its handsome carcass,
a relic so safely buried, at peace, not bringing a sword now, thank God!
In its final resting place. Amen.
God-Word doesn’t look much like a human,
lying there, with its heart no longer beating,
a God-heart that once belonged to someone else,
who left it there for all to find,
words once living in a person, now entombed.
God-soul up there, far away in what I like to think of as Heaven.
Doesn’t need a heart, or hands or body, right?
Let’s just remember Her in Spirit, not in Truth, okay?
It’s so much less painful, that way.
Stories about God are enough,
and God-heart, hearts-like-God, are allegories,
as useful as a history-lesson.
Unless, of course, we relearn, re-hope, re-shape our own stories,
and take the heart of words as mere clouded mirrors,
Dim reflections of a Cosmos-Heart-of God,
Alive and well in all,
Alive in every molecule of Planet Earth.
The Word of God,
once alive in the God-people, still lives.
God-people then and now,
have died to donate their words
to give the World a heart transplant.
Words still beating with Life, yearn to Be,
implanted and given new life in me,
Sutured by the Great Physician.
The Words we give our religions copyrights to
Desire anonymously, to Be;
Edited by The Writer of the World,
Given the Kiss of Life by The Living Word,
But it’s safer and calmer and I am much more popular here
in my own little boxes that I store my thoughts and achievements in.
Such a lot of stuff I give a dead god credit for.
The few times I caught a glimpse of God still alive in the wild,
It scared me so much, I turned tail and ran back to what I called home.
Funny, how we humans change definitions to suit our fears.
I wonder what the word “home” really means, don’t you?
Well, I wonder what the word “God” really means, too.
I do have a rather useful library of books written to define God.
Sometimes, I get a feeling God looks at all those books on Her,
And laughs and cries, and laughs and cries,
For lack of Her True Self in the world, in us,
But Oh! how energizing it has been to use dead men’s words at will!
And prayer is such a convenient tool
to wedge a piece of God out.
Stagnant things are things, after all, and we can control things.
Ta da! Oh, to never be wrong, in a world of otherness!
What a kick to have a handle on how best to use a God!
But how does a human control a God?
Why, by making Her something to own and use, of course.
God makes a lovely product.
The God-salesmen cry out:
“Step right up, no matter your age or socio-economic status!
You can own your very own God, suitable for all your needs,
practical for every purpose!
And when your God of childhood wears out,
Come on back and get a grown-up God to use instead.”
Indeed, as I grew
I knew God was a worthy weapon for war.
And so, I locked and loaded,
and let my God-out-there
hurt the God-in-here,
the God-in-me, the God-in-you.
But really, the God-weapon can be a very nice way to feel in control;
Even though the dark insecurity of the embers of knowing-ness,
and the shrapnel that The Physician was never allowed to remove,
always hurt, and also always beckon.
To come to terms with just how out of control the world in me was,
which threatened to overtake the God-in-me,
I shriveled and grew colder;
Wait, I meant to say, grew older.
I keep reading up on Eagles,
but I am like a fledgling, fallen from its nest,
never knowing it wasn’t born to read up on “How To”,
but simply born to leap out of the nest
and to fly.
You see, when I let the God-in-me die,
I killed God.
Hanging Him on a cross,
burning Her at the stake,
electrocuting Them in a chair,
were all far too easy after that.
And then, today, I went to the empty tomb as usual,
looked in the mirror, and brushed my teeth;
embalmed my face as I thought
was the right rite to do.
the sun came-up again.
And I heard a rumor that tomorrow, we might all get rain to end the drought.
And I couldn’t help myself —
Someone in me arose.
In the time it takes to say a single word — Bam!
I realized, the tomb I had put God in, was empty!
And in that moment, I wanted my tomb to be empty, too.
I wanted God to rise from the grave of self-important ego,
I had buried Him in.
I wanted God to Be not just be “in” me, but all-around me.
I wanted to be the God who wanted to Be me;
Not just with words, but with hands, and feet,
and beating, hurting, healing heart.
And as I stepped in terror to the precipice,
uncertain if I would fly or fall,
live or die,
I found I still had one unbroken, unbent wing,
and I could hear the eternal beating of God-Word
Pounding in my pulse.
And I leapt out into Living-Arms,
Even as the God-in-All,
Oh, YES! — the Living God in All of Us,
Just as He rose from the grave we stuck Him in,
I, too, may rise and fly today.
For yesterday, I learned,
as long as God’s alive in you,
as long as God’s alive in me,
He will never be as small as a book,
As small as my thoughts,
As small as a word,
Or as small as I am.
GOD-ALIVE are as big as we can imagine,
As wide and deep and true as the whole world.
SHE is as able and embracing as a loving Mother,
Cradling the entire fledgling universe in her sheltering Arms.
HE is as mighty as the Wheel of Fire,
that rolls toward Justice, making in its wake,
in His mercy,
a path in The Way for ALL who seek and suffer to rise.
THEY are as playful and vulnerable
and loving as Children, who never grow old
and never grow weary in their delight,
in Each Other, and in us, Their Creations.
Resurrection means that
I can not really kill God
I can only kill the God Who wants to live in me.
And so, today,
I will throw-out another of my self-made weapons
into the hell of no longer useful or needed.
And I will find some more words
to childishly shape into The Living Word,
Spoken in the here and now through me.
And I will chip away at the tomb of fear that leads me to control.
And I shall ascend.
in the Glorious Now of God-Alive.
© Jane Tawel 2021