Bible Belt

[dropcap]I [/dropcap]believe in God. And I’m sorry if that doesn’t settle well with you, but, he and I get along fine. In fact, except for the Lottery misunderstanding a few weeks ago, I’ve never had a problem with him.

In Sunday school, my teacher used to say God was invisible. Which was then followed by speculative questions from nine-year-old philosophers with crippling sugar addictions.

“If God’s invisible,” asked nine-year-old me. “Why don’t people bump into him?”

“Because, sweetie. He’s in the sky.”

“Do birds fly into him?”

“He lives in outer space.”

“How about rockets?”

“God avoids them.”

“Do astronauts know God?”

“No. Well, maybe.”

“Do you think my daddy will ever buy me a pony?”

Sunday school teachers are equipped to deal with such ethereal-minded questions. It’s part of the rigorous training they undergo before earning their beehive hairdos.

But, I’m preaching to the choir. If you grew up in the Bible Belt, you already know God isn’t what some folks think he is.

Some think God is Wednesday night fellowships; fried chicken, four kinds of potato salad, and Mother’s cheese casserole. My uncle would pray a blessing so long at potlucks, our knees locked up and our blood sugar required treatment by IV bags.

Others think God is Saturday night meetings. Where experienced Southern Baptists stretch the word, “Jesus” into eight syllables.

But where I’m from, God is more than that. He’s a tire-change for the elderly. He’s two men painting Sister Loretta’s house because her husband died. God is well attended funerals. He is a day’s-worth of helping move furniture just because you own a truck.

God is a hospital visit. He’s a Hospice nurse. He’s a handwritten card, hot suppers, and football games. He’s an old lady who gives tight hugs, a Mexican immigrant who needs a ride home. He’s an animal shelter, Mother’s homemade bread, or my wife’s bedtime kiss. Sometimes, he’s even you.

I believe in God because that’s how I was raised. I’m sorry it’s not fashionable, but I can’t help it, dammit.

And I wouldn’t want to.