Dear Heavenly Father,
You know, as well as I do, that I made some pretty bad mistakes along this journey. I ain't always done right by people. Every now and then, I tend to let my own self-interests get the best of me and stand between me the right thing to do. I don't think that I am all that different from most people in that regard, but that ain't no excuse.
I try, nowhere near as hard as I should I know, but it is still trying. I feel bad when people get hurt, and I don't like comedy that is all about making fun of hurting people. I want the world to be more like the way it was with Barney in The Andy Griffith Show. Barney was a real mess but most of the people in Mayberry were just like him, and even if they laughed at him, they loved him too and would feel bad if he was hurt. But nowadays, when we laugh at people like them two idiots in the Home Alone series, we're really kind of being mean. Can't help it, but still kind of mean.
Most importantly, I feel lost without you. I talk to you a lot more
than people know. We have random conversations at all hours of the day, and you let me do most of the talking, and that's a good thing. It's not good to keep bad shit bottled up on the inside, and sometimes a fella just wants to talk to someone and there ain't nobody else around.
I wish that you would talk a little more and text message me in that wonderful way you have like that time I was coming out of theater in Tulare and them two high school girls said the exact same thing, using the same exact words, that I had read about and highlighted in a book earlier that morning. That was pretty cool and helps me to know that I'm just not talking to myself. I like that a lot.
When people ask me about you, I'm not afraid to tell them I believe in you, and I am more than a little bit confused by those who don't. I don't want to have to think what it would mean that my life and the lives of everyone who ever lived didn't have some kind of meaning. That would make it criminal that I brought my two daughters into a world without meaning. Meaning seems to be the thing we crave the most, and I cling to every tiny fabric and particle I run across.
When doubters ask me how a loving God can let people die in such horrible fashions, I tell them about the time I stole all my daddy's silver dollars and used them to buy candy at the Candy Store. Not all at once, of course. I knew there would be a day of reckoning, and sure enough, one day there was. I was reading comics in the living room, and the next thing I know, my mom and dad are standing in front of me with an empty box, and the only thing going through my head was the word "Sh*t" on endless loop.
I tell them folks that that's the way it's like. I know it's really not the same thing at all, but I don't know the answer to that question. No one does. But not one of them people will ever start the conversation by asking why does God create all the beauty that he does either, and maybe it is just not possible to have one without the other.
I know that there has to be a single, underlying truth that explains it all. I like to think that that is you and your son Jesus, and that you are way too busy to have to stop and explain every little thing to everybody like I had to do when I taught 7th grade English. Why, that would take an eternity, and maybe that's the plan. Maybe it is the realizing of things that is the purpose of life.
When them same people ask me, does people suffering seem fair to me. I have to ask them to define "fair". It's not fair like an NBA rule, you know one of them rules that changes depending who got the ball. But it is more like one of them laws that Newton came up with like gravity. I think the whole idea of fairness becomes kind of moot at a certain level. I'm sure it would all make perfect sense if we could only see things from your point of view.
I try to have an open mind and not to blame you for things. I'm sure that there's good reasons for all that you do or don't do. I would like a chance some day to talk to you about testosterone and the adolescent brain, and about the logic of having a young boy sit in a junior high school language arts class with four or five of the prettiest girls in school, and thinking he's going to remember what an adverb does. That happened a lot.
I figured some of it out by myself, and it was fun but also painful at times. Makes me realize that all of us tell a story that is at least as good as On the Road or one of them other books that tell the story of some discontented person who don't like what he/she has, and longs for something else. So, then I think why ain't we all famous like Jack Kerouac then? But I remember that maybe we're all a little too much like those people in Mayberry to know what the story even means.
I do think I might have done a lot better job of things if I could have listened in on the Oxford discussions of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien like some people got to do instead of learning from Sunday School teachers who had to ask me what theology meant. They had good hearts and did the best they could, but I think that churches should at least put in the same due diligence as school boards do when it comes to the hiring of teachers. Maybe more.
I know you must be cool. Elvis was pretty cool, and he don't have billionth of your reputation. He sure could sing the hell out of a gospel song though, and I'm sure that you had a lot more to do with that than Col. Tom Parker and them folks at Sun Records.
I'm sure that if you have sideburns, they're the best sideburns ever, and that your Ray-bans would let you look at total eclipses from right across the street. You are actually pretty humble for all the amazing stuff you do. I mean I know people who do end zone dances for throwing a bottle cap in the trash can from two feet away. You don't do stuff like that, and that's pretty cool too.
I ain't mad or nothing like that, and I'll hang with you Lord. I'll ride shotgun up until I die. Then, maybe we'll have to work out some other kind of arrangement.
Thanks for everything,