I shoved the ear buds deeper into my head and surged the volume even more. Maybe if this made me deaf I would finally have some peace. But it was no use. The sounds in that room could not be ignored.
I yanked the buds out of my ears and walked across the room. I stopped at the wooden door and stared at it.
Despite being the gateway to my least favorite room in the house, this door never ceased to captivate me. The deep mahogany whispered of wisdom and strength. Intricate leaves, flowers, butterflies, and birds danced across its surface. How could such a horrid room be shut off by such a beautiful door? I contemplated this question every time I came to stand at this doorway—willing myself to get lost in its heaven instead of encountering my own hell on the other side. It used to be that this door was thick enough to deaden the sounds from within, but over the last few weeks the screams and wailing had become progressively louder.
I had never actually been in this room. I didn’t even know what it looked like. All I had done is throw things into it. The sounds that come out of there always made me shudder. Up until this point I had only had enough willpower to crack the door—just enough to discard one more thing within.
A high pitched scream pierced my fantasy of butterflies and birds; catapulting me back into reality. I looked down at the door knob.
Something needs to be done about this, I thought begrudgingly.
An angry voice challenged the screaming, which then dissolved into a pitiful whimper—not as painful, but just as heart-wrenching.
I put my hand on the door knob. It only turned with effort, and slowly at that. In my reluctance I pushed halfheartedly on the door, but it refused to budge.
You should known better; you have done this before, I chastised myself.
I took a deep breath, and thrust my body against the door.
The door gave way, and I was thrown unmercifully inside.
I stumbled to my feet; fists and eyelids clenched shut, ready to face whatever was in the room. But the impending pain to my eardrums never came. As I listened all I could hear was my own heavy breathing. Nothing else. Silence.
I lifted my head and opened my eyes.
There, before me, sitting in a chair with his legs crossed, looking at me above the rims of his glasses was God.
I felt my face twist up in disbelief.
“Nice of you to visit,” God said. His voice was deceptively cheerful, because there was no hint of a smile on his face.
This isn’t right, I thought, my mind clouding over in confusion. I looked around the room. It was completely bare except for the chair and the man . . . (Can I even call him a man?). . . sitting in it. The concrete walls seemed to be closing in on me.
“I know, Jaime.” God interrupted my thoughts, pulling my focus back to himself. “You were expecting to discover yourself in here, weren’t you?”
I met God’s eyes. Remember who you are dealing with, I told myself. I had interacted with God before, but it had been a while. And he was right. I hate that. God knew what I had been expecting behind that door. I had been expecting to find myself.
“Yes, I knew I was right. But you don’t have to admit it to me, Jaime. It’s not like I have to feed my own pride. . . . Like some people I know.”
The stab was well placed. I scowled at him, but remained sullenly silent. Maybe if I keep my mouth shut, he’ll leave me alone.
“You cannot shut me out, Jaime.”
I spun on my heels and stepped toward the door.
“Yes, you can leave, but do you really want to?”
I stopped short and flung myself back toward God. “And what would you know about what I want?!”
“You want me to be a genie.”
“Don’t you dare use other people’s words against me!”
“Aren’t you just going to reject them again?”
“That’s not fair!”
“Are you going to tell me what is fair; what is right or wrong; what I can and cannot do? Really, Jaime—I thought you were going to let me out of your box?”
Any potential comebacks coagulated in my throat. My jaw dropped, but no sound emerged.
“Are you upset that I have ruined your self-discovery adventure?” God continued.
I recomposed myself enough to reinstate the scowl on my face.
God recommenced his prodding: “Are you going to go back on what you did a few weeks ago? Are you going to go fishing for that stone you threw into the river? What are you trying to do, Jaime?”
I crossed my arms over my chest, scowl still intact.
I didn’t budge.
“ANSWER ME, JAIME!”
God’s anger shattered through my own, and I took a step back in fear, eye’s once again clenched shut.
God’s face softened for a moment as my fear revealed the frail girl within. But he resumed his coldness as I lifted my eyes.
“Tell me what you are trying to do, Jaime,” God said, sternly.
I tried to find my anger again. That wonderful emotion that made me strong—invincible. But it had been chased away by God’s jealous fury. My only other option was a blank numbness. It was out of this lack of emotion that I was able to respond.
“I am trying to get myself back on track; put myself back together.”
I chuckled to myself at the irony of an omniscient God asking me that question.
“I am not laughing, Jaime,” God interrupted my momentary escape into revelry. “Why?”
“Because you aren’t doing a good enough job at it.”
“Jaime!” God threw up his arms in exasperation. “How many times are we going to go in this circle? How many times are we going to do this? How many times?!”
My anger began to well up again, but this time in tears.
“Obviously we are going to have to do it until I get it!!” I yelled in desperation.
God put his arms down, feigning shock at my response.
“You admit that you are the one not getting it?” God skeptically questioned.
I sighed, desperately trying not to get irritated in my wounded pride. “Obviously,” I said. “Because you are God, and I am not. It’s not like you can actually be wrong.” Despite my efforts, the sarcasm was beginning to drip out.
Disappointment crossed God’s face. “That was not the answer I wanted, but I realize it is the only one I am going to get. I suppose it is better than nothing.”
“You’re God: You can magically make me grovel at your feet.”
“Is that really what you think I want from you, Jaime? You groveling at my feet like some worthless being?”
“Yes.” I spat the answer at God—staring directly into his eyes. The challenge clearly made. He stared back at me.
“Where did you get that idea from?”
I pondered. Job—he pretty much got his face shoved in the dirt. God is a King—aren’t all kings power hungry. The priestly stuff—God’s too high and mighty to get near to us.
God interrupted my thoughts. “Jaime, do you actually have any biblical examples? The only one I’ve heard so far is Job—and, in case you forgot, I blessed him at the end. Most of your examples are mere worldly perceptions.”
“Let me give you a different perspective. I created humankind, and declared that they were good. I made humans to be under-kings on this earth. I have walked and talked with mankind. I sent my son in the form of a lowly human—born in a filthy barn. I let my son die for you. When mankind is exalted, he—you included, Jaime—will be higher than the angels. How can you deny that I am intimately involved in the lives of humans?? How can you deny that I have been infinitely involved in your life?”
God was getting closer to my problem. “I cannot deny all that. But I don’t trust your motives. You seem so selfish!”
“What do you mean??”
“You do it all for your own glory!”
“So?!?! You still get amazing benefits (listen to me—trying to sell myself to you)! You get LIFE! Eternal, glorified life! Why are you complaining?? Because you don’t get to be me? You don’t get to be God?”
I looked down at my feet, the shame beginning to flow. “Yes,” I answered quietly.
“Jaime!” God said, sounding exasperated again. “You can’t have everything!”
“You promised me the desires of my heart.”
“Within reason, my girl!”
“But . . . then you lied to me.”
God fell silent for a few moments.
“No, Jaime. The world lied to you.”
“What do you mean?”
“The world told you that I was someone that I am not. And you are swallowing the lies whole.”