DEAR MISTER SEAN:
I’m having doubtful thoughts with everything going on. I’m confused and disappointed. I want to ask you a question. Is God real?
Hoo boy. Why couldn’t you have asked me about my favorite brand of mayonnaise instead? I’m an expert in the field of egg-based dressings.
I am not, however, the guy to ask about God. I have few answers on such high-minded matters. I can’t even figure out which eleven herbs and spices go into KFCs Original Recipe.
And believe me, I’ve tried.
Yeah, I know you’re confused about the current state of our world. I am, too. There is a lot of uneasiness right now. There’s a lot of confusion in the air.
All I can say is, try not to worry about it. You don’t have to understand the mysteries of the universe. Nobody does. Mankind has been fussing like this since the dawn of Duke’s mayonnaise.
Once, I saw a fight break out in an Alabama beer joint. I was young. The subject of high tension was: God.
A loud-talking man claimed that God was nothing but barnyard fertilizer. It offended my friend, whose mother sang in the church choir. Thus, he challenged this man—who was six-times his size—to a fistfight.
Before we knew it, my buddy went down under the power. His cheeks were being polished by a man who was built like a GE appliance. A pocket-knife was pulled. And the night went to hell in a hurry.
On the ride home, we four black-and-blue teenagers discussed mysteries of the eternal, using our serious voices.
Finally, someone asked, “You think God’s real?”
And I was the one who answered. I answered without thinking. And in a single sentence, 900 years’ worth of Bible-Belt heritage came out in me. I answered brashly.
I said, “You [cussword] right God’s real.”
Even at this age, I regret that comment. Because I am no authority on the matter. I am a nothing. I am the village idiot. My remark sounded like a boy who needed help spelling his name.
Still, the fact is, I’ve found that when some folks talk about God, they’re not talking about God at all.
They’re arguing about miracles, angels, greasy televangelists, faith healers, crooked churchmen, abusive clergy, or a celestial Santa Claus with a great white beard.
Well, I may be uneducated, but those things aren’t God.
Nevertheless, you asked me a straight question, so here’s my straight answer:
Cassidy. Cassidy is my answer.
Cassidy was 19. Beautiful. Her parents died. Her grandmother raised her. One day at a gas station, a man followed her to her car. He raped her. He beat her.
Police caught him. He went to prison. Nine months thereafter, Cassidy gave birth to a son. His son.
Many years later, the man made parole. Cassidy organized a meeting with him—against everyone’s advice. She met him in a public place. She embraced him. She gave him the brief privilege of meeting his biological child.
Cassidy told him, “You tried to ruin me, but it didn’t work. I love my son. And I love you, too.”
Now there’s a person you should ask about God, friend. Not me. Because Cassidy touched something I have never touched. Something big. A thing so wondrous that Cassidy once told me, “To me, God is something so beautiful I am compelled to share it with the ugliest soul I can think of.”
So. Is God real?
You’re [cussword] right he is, sweetie.