Hi You,

I know You.

I’ve known You my whole life. Even during the time when I described myself as “an agnostic who prays.”

I’ve known You as a force of Love when I was desperate and terrified of people. The song lyrics, “lying on the floor, you found me…” make sense to me. I know You as the curious, yet familiar ways that my grandfather sends me songs, even though he passed on a few years ago.

I know You despite some Christians’ claims that I can’t know You because of my many identities. I know You despite them. Some might say because of them. 

I’d like You to know that I’d like to know You better.

You’re the playfulness of waves in the sea, startling me out of my meditative cry. You’re the song of the birds and the sincerity in my sister-in-law’s eyes when she shares her stories with me.

You are Love, and I know Love, so I must know You. 

I need to let You know that it’s been awhile, and I’m not sure where to go from here. I meditate on songs, I walk sometimes, I love my fur babies, and those are my practices.

I don’t know what else to do, and sometimes, sometimes your books intimidate me. They condemn, and I’ve grown used to tuning out condemnation. Deep down, I’m still afraid that those angry words are true. Anger hurts, and anger can kill.

Did I let you know that I was a pacifist?

Your Love abides. God can say things They don’t mean–yes, They–I don’t care what Your gender is so You’ll use the pronouns I use. Anyway, God can say things They don’t mean when They’re angry. When You’re angry.

And at the end, after this blessed weekend with people like me, people with ties to Christianity, I’m going to cast my vote that You’re on the side of those hurt by injustice, the outsiders in the beautiful cultures co-created by people and inspired by You.

You’re in the beautiful customs that say they include everyone while forgetting others. I don’t understand how You can be in disgrace, but You’re there.

I know better than to summon You for grand conclusions, because everyone summons You for grand conclusions. And yet, it might be appropriate that I pray to You for the well-being of those I identify with, even as I’m neglecting those I don’t. You get it somehow…I hope.

My religion calls me to respect everyone, though. Not a bad balance.

One of your books says that You’re jealous, and yet I can’t abide by that because I see You in so many religions–so many that I refuse to choose one over the other. A Muslim co-author’s description of You in a special book, The Faith Club, resonated with me the moment she began talking about You. The wind rustling the grains, that’s You.

I have never said You solve everything or plan everything because that would be too much. A Disciples of Christ friend said that you co-create with us, us being impertinent and wondrous, and perhaps You steering with grace. And that makes sense, because You seem to want a relationship with us, through us, Your creations.

People are murdered. I can’t say that it’s part of Your plan because we have plans, too.

I don’t like all of Your laws because they seem restrictive and punitive, but maybe those were from Your angry times. I boss people around when I’m angry, too. Or, like Jesus, I retreat to the desert or into my own world.

You’re a conundrum. Your songs are beautiful, even when they include problematic verses. I sing them even though they’re head-scratchers.

And that might be You–there, mysterious, and present in the contradictions. 

As a trans boi, I can relate…I have many essences, but a core that’s true.

Perhaps that’s true of You.

-Me

Sam Allen

Sam Allen prefers their pronouns neutral. Chai cold. Chocolate hot. Their audiobooks thought-provoking. A native of Stockton, Sam is 34 and, until recently, was still deciding what to do with their life. They were the first staff person for Delta College's Pride Center, and they are now embarking on a seminary degree. An IB grad and Stan lover, Sam's true passion is observing humans in their natural habitats.

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