An Impatient Letter To All Of Us From God

Spirit of Change 20th anniversary issue reprint from Mar/Apr 1998

I consider myself a pretty patient Guy. I mean, look at the Grand Canyon. It took millions of years to get it right. And I’ve been patient through your fashions, civilizations, wars and schemes, and the countless ways you take me for granted until you get yourselves into big trouble again and again.

But on this occasion of my son’s 1,989th birthday, I wanted to tell you about some things that are starting to tick me off.

First of all, your religious rivalries are driving me up a wall. Enough already! Every religion claims there’s only one of me — which, by the way is absolutely true. But in the very next breath, each religion claims it’s my favorite one. And each claims its bible was the only one written personally by me.

Let’s get one thing straight: These are your religions, not mine. I’m the Whole Enchilada: the Spirit beyond them all. I’m your Father and Mother, and I don’t play favorites among my children. Also, I hate to break it to you, but I don’t write. My longhand is awful, and I’ve always been more of a “doer” anyway. So all your books, including the bibles, were written by inspired, remarkable people, but they also made mistakes here and there. I made sure of that. You see, I want you to trust your own inner connection with me more than anything else. Holy books are sacred and powerful, but they were only meant to steer you inside yourself, not to keep you arguing with each other. One human being to me — even a bum on the street — is worth more than all the holy books in the world. That’s just the kind of guy I am. My Spirit is not an historical thing. It’s alive right here, right now, as fresh as your next breath.

Which brings me to your next nonsense: You act like I need you and your religions to stick up for me or “win souls” for my sake. Please, don’t do me any favors. I can stand quite well on my own, thank you.

And another thing: I don’t get all worked up over money or politics, so stop dragging my name into your dramas. For example, I never threatened Oral Roberts. I never rode in any of Rajneesh’s Rolls Royces. I never told Pat Robertson to run for president, and I’ve never had a conversation with Jim Bakker or Jerry Falwell! Of course, come Judgement Day, I certainly intend to…

The thing is, I want you to stop thinking of religion as some sort of loyalty pledge to me. The true purpose of religion is for you to become more aware of me, not the other way around. Believe me, I know you already. I know what’s in each of your hearts, and I love you with no strings attached. Lighten up and enjoy me. That’s what religion is for.

What you seem to forget is how mysterious I am. You look at the petty differences in your scriptures and say, “Well, if this is the truth, then that can’t be!” But instead of trying to figure out my paradoxes and subtleties — which, by the way, you never will — why not focus on the simple unarguable fundamentals?

You know what I’m talking about: love and respect everyone. Be kind. Even when life is scary or confusing, take courage, for I am always with you. Learn how to be quiet, so you can hear my still, small voice (I don’t like to shout). Leave the world a better place by living with dignity and gracefulness. Hold back nothing from life, for the parts of you that can die will surely die, and the parts that can’t, won’t.

Simple stuff. Why do you keep making it so complicated? Do you think I care whether you call me Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah, Brahma, Father, Mother, The Void or Nirvana? Do you think I care which of my special children you feel closest to — Jesus, Mary, Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed or any of the others? They all live in one place (my heart) and they get along perfectly, I assure you. Stop creating a myth of sibling rivalry where there is none. Just go about my business of loving one another as I love you. How can you keep forgetting something so simple?

You don’t have to abandon your religions or combine them into One Big Mess. Enjoy your religions, honor them, learn from them, just as you should enjoy, honor, and learn from your parents. But do you walk around telling everyone that your parents are better than theirs? Like your parents, your religion may always have a special place in your heart; I don’t mind that at all. And each religion is unique for a reason. Each approaches my great mystery in its own way. But religions are not football teams, so please drop your childish “We’re #1" attitude!

The world has grown too small for religious narcissism. The whole planet is connected by air travel, satellite dishes, telephones, fax machines, diseases, rock concerts, and mutual needs and concerns. Get with it! If you really want to celebrate the birthday of my son Jesus, then begin figuring out how to feed your hungry, clothe your poor, and shelter your homeless. Just as important, make your own everyday life a shining example of kindness and good humor. I’ve given you all the resources you need, if only you abandon your fear of each other and begin living, loving, and laughing together.

As I love Him, so do I love each of you. I’m not really ticked off. I just wanted to grab your attention because I hate to see you suffer. After giving you free will, what can I do now, other than to try to influence you though reason, persuasion, and a little manipulative guilt? After all, I am the original Jewish mother. I just want you to be happy.

Your One and Only,

Bo Lozoff is a writer/songwriter and director of the Human Kindness Foundation in Durham, North Carolina. The Foundation’s major program, the Prison Ashram Project, works with prisoners and prison staff in more than 40 counties. Mr. Lozoff’s books include We’re All Doing Time, Inner Corrections and Lineage and Other Stories.

2007 Postscript: Visit to contact Bo.