I would like to buy three dollars’ worth of God, please. Not enough to explore my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine. I don’t want enough God to make me love an Indian or pick beets with a migrant. I want ecstasy, not transformation. I want the warmth of the womb, not a new birth. I want a pound of the Eternal in a paper sack. I would like to buy three dollars’ worth of God, please.
Those words are attributed to a Canadian pastor named Freda Moosehunter. I wish I knew the context in which she felt compelled to express them and the audience to whom she first spoke them. Her sentiments are armor-piercing. A surgeon’s scalpel doesn’t cut as clean. They expose all the ways I protect my home turf. They mock every defense I carefully erect.
I don’t want enough God to make me leave a lighter footprint on this fragile planet . . . to inspire me to live with substantially less . . . to change my life in ways different from what I have come to know and love.
I don’t want enough God to follow, like Sarah and Abraham, the call to a place unseen . . . to leave, like Ruth, the country of my birth . . . to risk, like Esther, my life to protect a people . . . to let go, like Peter, James and John, the security of fishing nets in favor of some vague promise . . . to commit, like Zacchaeus, to giving the poor half of all I own . . . to be chained in prison, like Paul, for sharing the Good News that challenges the empire.
What I want is a “cup of warm milk” and a “snooze in the sunshine,” assured that God loves me just the way I am and promises to keep me just the way I am. What I don’t want is a God who would break me, melt me, mold me, and fill me in ways I wouldn’t choose to embrace on my own.
Most days, a pound of the Eternal and three dollars’ worth of God suits me just fine.
[If you like this photograph, or any others that appear in my previous blogs, I’ll mail to your home a 4″x6″ print in a white 8″x10″ mat, ready for you to frame. $10. Send me a message on my CONTACT page or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org]