Sunday, July 10, 2005

Theological Doo-Doo

It's 2:00 a.m. on a Saturday night into Sunday morning and I'm just guessing that I will be sound asleep at church-goin' hour tomorrow. I can't help but emit a little Jeff Spicoli chuckle. "Duuuuude! Rad!" So naughty. So rare. So freeing. I had INTENTIONS of going to church at 4th Presbyterian in Boston. I really did. And we know what the road to HELL is paved with, don't we, my little Satan Spawn?

church lady

I'm still musing about Open Theism. I still don't get it. I still think that the Mind of God is just totally incomprehensible to me and all other of my humanoid brothers and sisters. I have always thought so.
I take theology very seriously and have respect for those who dare to do it, but sometimes I read these works that really, really suggest that God's Mind is similar to ours and I tilt my head. All I hear is "meow, meow, meow."

William Ellery Channing put me on my knees about this question, though, by writing and preaching so beauteously about our Likeness to God. It occurred to me some time ago that I do, in fact, believe that we are somehow created in God's image, and that for me (thanks to Channing) the imago Dei is related most to the reality of conscience. Not consciousness. . . conscience.

I was comfortable with this for years and now I'm uncomfortable again. Unsatisfied. It needs work. This daughter of Eve is feeling once again like she doesn't know doo-doo and that she's been very lazy in the Personal Theology Department. (Well, that's not exactly true. I've been very busy falling madly in love with the Bible, so that counts for a lot. Also, Saul/Paul and I are getting very close and that requires a lot of christological mind-melding).

More thoughts: This relates to death, of course. I contemplate death every day (Russian melancholics do, you know) and comfort myself with the belief that the Creator really, really doesn't intend for me to understand it, to know what to expect, or to overly-anticipate it. What does Open Theism say about that?
I think about death, the possibilities of an afterlife and/or total oblivion/stick-a-fork-in-me-I'm-doneness, the consolations of memory and a good name, the Bardo Dream and not wanting to get stuck in a bad one, the fact that my friends will give bitchin' eulogies at my funeral, and so on. I consider how waxy I'll look in my casket (which gives me an inevitable case of wicked chuckles), and then I imagine floating through space as pure nothingness, energy released, no more "I."
And God says, "Oh, PeaceBang. Meow, meow, meow. You don't know doo-doo and you're not meant to. Go to sleep."

You may think it morbid that I intend to be buried in white cotton pajamas and tucked into my pine box on comfy bedding, and buried with lots of lavender and rosemary sprigs, but I think it's lovely. (And waxy.) On my tombstone, if I'm buried in our own churchyard, it should say, "AT LEAST I'M NOT STUCK IN CAPE-BOUND TRAFFIC." And then the dates. Wouldn't that be hi-larious?

Now that I think about it, God grant us all a death that we can afford to treat with some gentle irreverence. That's really all one could ask. Too many of our brothers and sisters suffer deaths that reacquaint us with the urgency of theodicy.
And that's a good place to shut my mouth for the moment.


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