I don’t know if I believe in God. There. I said it.

I definitely believe in something bigger than me. I believe in something smarter than me. I believe in something that understands the mysteries of life and the universe better than me. (Insert joke about Neil Degrasse Tyson here) So, I suppose, in that sense, I believe in a god or god-figure. (And, honestly, no. Not Neil Degrasse Tyson. I actully imagine a shimmering cloud, whizzing through the universe. It has a pinkish tinge. That’s what I see. That’s my superior being. Silly, I know.)

It’s not “god” I have a problem with. It’s “God.”

The God that so many people claim as their own.

The God that listens and loves.

The God that created us to be fearful, wonderful, and fallible.

The God that is prepared to forgive, but is also ready to punish for an eternity, precisely for all of those flaws He intentionally placed inside of us from the beginning.

The God that will take the wheel.

He’s the one I just can’t seem to get behind.

Don’t get me wrong. I’d love to believe. There is something pure, whimsical, childlike, comforting in the raw, animal acceptance of that for which we have no scientific data, no hard proof. I envy my friends of faith. I marvel at their belief. Not their knowing. Their belief. Their unmistakable sense that this must be. Everything inside of me tells me. This. MUST. Be.

It’s incredible.

I applaud you. I really do. There is such a confidence (perhaps, at times, bordering on narcissism) in the unabashed faith in your own destiny as chosen, as special. Your absolute assuredness. Your unflinching knowing. I’m in awe of you.

And I need you.

My hypocrisy is that, even without this system of belief, even without this knowing, I still need people of faith around me. People of belief: I need you.

I need you to pray.

To your God.

Because I can’t.

Because my god? Well, my god’s busy. My god’s work on this planet is finished. My god has much more important things to deal with than my little dog and pony show. My god is creating parallel universes. Helping stars scatter their life-giving minerals throughout space. My god is busy writing the most beautiful symphonies into the numerical inifities of Pi. He’s microwaving a burrito so hot he can’t eat it. Just for funsies.

So I know that I can’t pray. I can’t get over the feeling that it’s just a useless gesture for me. Which is why I need you. You.

You see, my daugther is going in for surgery. Logically, I know that it’s not a big deal. Logically, I know that her odds of being struck by lightning are greater than her odds of having serious complications from having ear tubes placed and her adenoids removed. Logically, I know this.

But I also know that lightning does strike.

And I know that she is my world.

I know this.

It’s hypocritical of me. I’m asking you to waste your prayers, your favors, your limited energy and time with your Creator on the daughter of a heathen. But for some reason (and this is something that defies all logic, all science, all numeric infinities) I am comforted by the thought of you praying for my girl. It means a lot to me to know that you are taking the time, expending the energy, offering the sacrifice, engaging in the ritual, just for her. I know that when you pray to your God, it is an act of love. And love is my request. I need all of it I can get. She needs it.

When she goes into that surgery center, she’ll be given powerful drugs to make her sleep and forget. She’ll be cut into by a surgeon’s practiced hands. She’ll be monitored by anethesiologists, by nurses. She’ll be protected by science. By experience. By knowledge. By logic.

But her brown eyes contain my entire universe.

So, though it’s hypocritical of me, can you, my dear friends, help to make sure that something else will be in that center with her? Something that I can’t logically believe in, but also can’t quite argue away? Can you send her love? Can you? Can you all join together, in a single, pious chorus, and direct your God’s attention to her tiny, inert body, and ask Him, please, to maybe just smile lovingly, to blow a calming wind, to wink and nod and nudge? Can you?

I believe that you can. I have to. I must.

And I’m okay with that. For her, I will be a hypocrite. For her, I will.

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