Don’t tell my mother or cousin, but I have decided, for the sake of my sanity, to STOP groom hunting this week. I know, a little reckless for a woman “my age” with an unused uterus. However to avoid the spontaneous combustion of Desi Girl, I must find new ways to amuse myself. Good thing I Iive in Manhattan where the entire City is an awaiting urban playground.
To be honest, as I sit in the pew, I feel VERY uncomfortable. I hope a scarlet “H” for Hindu doesn’t magically appear on my forehead and alert the Christian cops that an outsider is present. Okay, must stop with the conspiracy theories. To put myself at ease I spend several minutes silently admiring my neighbor’s brown cashmere sweater. Would my mother (the devout Hindu) be upset to learn I am here? When I was 12 I told her I wanted to be Christian, to better fit into Minnesota, and man did I get a scolding!
As the choir sings I find it remarkable that Christians and Hindus invoke God through song. When the minister begins preaching my mind fills with thoughts of gays and the sex scandals of priests. What is wrong with me?!
Today’s service is about Job, a biblical passage I know nothing about. “Scholars find this passage to be one of the most literary passages in the Bible,” the minister begins and then speaks of Job’s pious nature, 10 children, possessions and wife. “Job had it all,” the minister shares. “But due to a series of events that included Satan taking and burning Job’s possessions and killing his children, he loses it all.” YIKES! Satan is one seriously bad dude.
“During despair, Job’s wife begs him to curse God. But Job does not. His friends make assertions that Job is suffering because he is a sinner. Again, Job does not curse God. In fact, Job believes what God gives, God can take. Of course Job wonders how this has happened to him, but he still accepts his suffering. And he suffers until one day God comes to Job, and instead of explaining the suffering, God asks Job, ‘you were not here when I created the world, right’?” the minister pauses, letting the words waft across the room. “The lesson here is, like Job's suffering, the rest of us were not meant to understand God’s plan.”
Suddenly I become shell shocked as the minister’s words resonate with me. Maybe I don’t need to understand why I suffer. I mean yes I am healthy and have a home. But I am human and feel pain and anguish.
I find life to challenge me some days and rattle my faith on others. Not just in the men I gravitate towards, but the friends I allow to mistreat me. Sometimes I curse the choices I made and the careers I didn’t follow. But all of that wallowing in the past and berating my imperfections impedes me. And my inner control freak is not helping either. Like Job, I must accept that only God knows my plan and tomorrow I should wake up and embrace the life I came to Manhattan to have.
And in time, I know after I face the darkness, there is only light.