Posted by: Maryann McCullough | May 3, 2013

Story for May 2013



Maryann McCullough


     I have been thinking about God and our troubled world. Even considered independently, each of those is a serious undertaking. Taking them on together, I may be like the child with his pail emptying the ocean into his hole in the sand.

This is where the thinking has led me. This is what I believe. At various times in the history of this planet, God made his presence obvious. It was always there – a life-sustaining necessity but at certain times, very clear and direct and personal.. At those times he would whisper into the ear of one of his children “You are my favorite.” 

I am familiar with this phrase. Not that God has whispered it in my ear, but my mother did this on a regular basis – to each of her ten children. It was always accompanied by the warmest of smiles and usually delivered at just the right time, be they moments of triumph or moments of the seeming tragedies of childhood.

It doesn’t appear to have worked as well with the communications from God. Instead of smiling at this moment of special recognition, some of those who heard the words took God literally and thought they meant the “only” favorite.

And so for centuries and centuries, there has been a war among favorites, a sibling-like rivalry of gigantic proportions with dire consequences.

If we could only agree that whatever his moniker, we are calling to the same God. So the Jews and the Muslims and the Christians are praying unawares to the same deity – and were he not a deity, he would go mad with the incessant clamor for vanquishing of those others who call him father.

            I am not a serious student of history but I know that, of those atrocities committed in long ago as well as present times, most were committed in his name. Logic dictates that if we were created by a loving God, he surely did not create us for the spectator sport of destruction. That is too contrary to every other aspect of creation.

 Muslims are likely the black sheep of the family of man at this moment in time, being the most strident, violent, and vocally self – assured that the rest of us are infidels. Others have had their turn at intolerance, killing those not of their faith or forcing a faith upon them under penalty of death. Because it occurred a long time ago does not change the fact that many of our faiths have taken their turn at intolerance.

              I have a fantasy in which I get to talk to the great religious leaders of the world, one on one. Each of them listens intently to what I have to say. When I finish, each man in turn slaps his head and says “My God!  How could we have been so stupid!  God doesn’t want us to all be the same. Like the differences in color, and the multitude of languages, our faiths are part of a plan. He enjoys our diversity. He loves the lighting of candles and the Sabbath prayers of the Jews. He loves the church bells calling Christians on Sunday morning. He loves the recurring calls to prayer and the obeisance of the Muslims. He does not desire the fracture of the very family he created ”

Then, in the conclusion of my fantasy, each of the religious leader thanks me. They all embrace and promise to live in peace forever and ever.

I recognize the simplistic nature of my scenario. In addition to the misunderstanding of God’s message of love is a long history of persecution and death and retribution for death, followed by a violent response to that retribution.

           But that is the beauty of a fantasy, isn’t it? It can put reality in a box, even if just for a little while.





  1. I think it’s a beautiful fantasy. I hope it comes true!

  2. Beautiful.

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