3.13.2009

Angry Conversations with God (and contest!)

Many spiritual memoirs or biographies I've read are crafted like a novel or a major blockbuster. What I mean is that the camera focuses in on a slice of life from the protagonist's life, usually when they make a big mistake or struggle with some kind of conflict. The story moves effortlessly along as the plot is seeded with hints of divine guidance along the way, and eventually the protagonist's eyes are opened and God's redemption of their struggles is visible in their lifetime. In most of these books the conclusion wraps the whole story up into a big tidy bow that's meant to be inspirational.

But often I don't find these stories inspirational because I don't relate to them. I think most people's lives read more like an epic--a rambling, messy, confusing maze of interconnections and surprises and dead ends and scenic views that ultimately lead to the one thing we can't live without: God's grace.

If you're looking for a book like this, I've found it: Angry Conversations with God is by actress/comedian/screenwriter/author Susan E Isaacs. It's her story of taking God to couple's counseling as she deals with the one thing every relationship must come to terms with: what it means to love God not just for the better, but for the worse. She, like me, grew up Lutheran but tries out many different forms of the American Christian church and becomes disillusioned, confused about the extent of God's involvement in her decisions. When her life falls apart outwardly, she decides to take God with her to a counselor. Together they confront God about his love and will in her life.

You may be thinking it sounds edgy, heretical, even a bit blasphemous. But after a lifetime of wrestling with God, Susan's foresight into God's purpose for her life is meaningful, funny, shocking, convicting and comforting because it's told from the perspective of a real person in the real world. She writes honestly and painfully about her life experiences to come to terms with one of the greatest obstacles in our Christian life: what it means to have faith when you can't always see the big tidy bow at the end.

So here's the thing: I've been given four copies of Susan's book to give away FOR FREE on my blog! All you have to do to win is to be one of the first four to comment about what you'd tell God if you took him to couple's counseling.

Susan's book came out March 12 and is published by Hachette Book Group's FaithWords division. You can buy it on Amazon.

7 comments:

alaina said...

(free books? yes!) (also, you're coming to stl? maybe I will see you?)

God and I would have a little sit down to talk about how he allows so much misuse of his name to do terrible things and treat people like pooh.

I think these days it would be less angry time and more laughing and me trying to weasle information out of him. :)

Allen L. said...

I would probably spend most of the therapy time telling the doc, "See? He just sits there. Smirking! Sooooooo Passive Agressive! And then when I finally do make some headway, he goes ahead and blows up a star or something. The ego on this guy!".
Something like that.
Susan Isaacs rocks my world!

blissbloom said...

God and I would talk about his compartmentalizing... how the buddhists call him one thing and the christians something else and how all the wars in the history of man have been fought over him and why oh why doesn't he just get a blog for himself to say: stop fighting, people. i'm the same. i'm the one. and please please stop excluding people. now i have to go because i have a 4 year old next to me who wants me to go online to order him a master shifu from kung fu panda.

Lauri said...

A free book by Susan Isaacs? I'm in.

I'd ask God the same question I ask him at home - but maybe in therapy I'd get an answer. :)

When You disappear (at the most inopportune times, I might add) - where exactly do You go? And why is it that You don't feel the need to let me know where You are and when You'll be returning. It's not like You don't know exactly where I am all the time.

Or - after watching a group of hyper-enthusiastic Christians set up a PA system and bullhorn on an LA street corner last night and open by leaning down to address an eight year old boy with the question, "Do you know that the Bible says it is appointed unto you once to die and then you will face the judgment?" - perhaps we would discuss why loving Him means I automatically have to accept his whole family.

robyn said...

i would say thanks for not cheating on me, even though i have been cheating on you.

Julia Overlin said...

I would ask Him, "Why do you insist on pushing me to my absolute limits...... when Life is skating on my LAST nerve.... only to give me more than I've prayed for JUST AT THE LAST MINUTE before I'm ready to break?!" Are you testing my patience, challenging my love for You? Or are you testing my Faith? I love you.... I'm just wondering, Sweetie. :)

Julia Overlin

Baby Hardy said...

I know that most of the problems in our relationship, God, are probably my fault. I know i put You and our relationship in a box. I feel I have to do certain things to keep up with you, instead of just loving on you and allowing you to love on me. It seems quite difficult for me to get past that point in our relationship.

There's one other thing I don't think I'll ever quite understand, although I've come to terms with it a couple times. That is, why you allow the abuse of innocents- sexual, emotional, physical- that stuff can really screw with a person's perspective of You, of others and of themselves for life. I know you can bring healing, but allowing it in the first place really sucks.