God’s Obituary Revisited

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

God did many wondrous and mysterious things

Blessing a people to bless others

Delivering them from slavery to a Promised Land.

Rescuing them from self-destruction

Showing them mercy from everlasting to everlasting.

 

Then, some time ago, God died.

It might have been by the pen of Frederich Nietzsche,

Or in the ovens of Aushwitz.

Or on the tongue of Dr. Matthews, in the Spring of 1983

Who taught me that theology was no longer the study of God,

But the exploration of what it means to be human.

 

When I was young, God was very much alive.

Spewing fire and brimstone from the pulpit

Of the First Mount Pleasant Baptist church.

Kneeling beside me when I asked Jesus to come into my heart.

Holding me tight on nights I would hear my parents screaming at each other,

Softly whispering to me – “I am with you always.”

 

When I read Elie Wiesel’s Night

The gallows scene where the young boy hangs there –

His tongue hanging out, swollen and bluish,

One man asks, “For God’s sake, where is God?”

Eliezar says to himself,

This is where – hanging here from this gallows…”

 

I thought of Jesus hanging on the cross,

Instead of sympathy, he received scorn.

If you are the son of God, save yourself and us.”

Instead, Jesus looked up to heaven and said,

“Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.

 

Then God died.

And though he came back to life three days later,

We  killed him again.  And again.  And again.

 

At the pen of pompous philosophers,

In the gas chambers, the killing fields, the executioner’s chair

On the tongues of tenured teachers.

 

But the voice of God keeps calling out to us

From beyond the pages of the obituaries

(in His best Mark Twain voice) –

“The news of my untimely departure,

Though much celebrated,

Has been grossly exaggerated.”

Elevator

“Elevator” from Constantine Gavrykov in Creative Mind

12 thoughts on “God’s Obituary Revisited

    • Thank you very much. It came to me as was waking up from a dream this morning. I left out a detail, though, where I compared Frederich Nietzsche to Fred Flintstone (not sure where that came from – perhaps a bit of undigested meat).

  1. Excellent Tony, just excellent. The problem is, we humans want it both ways. We want God to stop all the bad stuff in the world, but we also want Him to shut up and not interfere in our lives.

  2. The title drew me in and the writing kept me reading. A pet phrase of mine is “people created God, not the other way around”. What is created can be killed. This poem does a good job of explaining how and the warm twist at the end, made me laugh. God (She-He-It) still exists….

  3. Reblogged this on Siah Salma Bangai and commented:
    The title of Indytony’s poem drew me in. The writing kept me reading. One of my favorite responses to people who have tried to “save my soul” is “people created God, not the other way around”. What is created by people can also be killed by them. His poem does a good job of explaining how and the warm twist at the end, made me laugh. God (She-He-It) still exists, obituary notwithstanding…

    • While Siah and I clearly differ on God’s origins, I am grateful she was led to my site and hope we can have fruitful dialogue about the relationship of God and humanity.

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