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The God Talk

by Maggie Van Ostrand
Maggie Van Ostrand

What's up with the anti-God books that are being published faster than Lance Armstrong could peddle on steroids? At last count there were four listed on Amazon.com's list of Best Sellers. "God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything," "God: the Failed Hypothesis. How Science Shows that God Does Not Exist," "The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason," "Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person's Answer to Christian Fundamentalism." So now it's supposed to be hip, slick, and cool to say there is no God. I have only one comment; nobody told little Timmy Brown.

When Timmy's dad came home from work to find his son drawing a picture, he asked, "What are you drawing?" "I'm drawing a picture of God," answered Timmy. Dad smiled and said, "You can't draw a picture of God, son. Nobody knows what God looks like." Replied little Timmy, "They will when I'm done."

Whether Timmy has boundless faith in the unseen, or his faith represents the innocent trust of childhood, the result is the same -- he is connected to something bigger than himself. At their home for dinner recently, I asked Timmy what he'd say to God if he could speak directly with him. Timmy shyly confessed that he had already had such a conversation, and he confided the results --

TIMMY: Hi God. Thank you for not putting me on hold. Did you have a good sleep?

GOD: I don't sleep, Timmy. I've been too busy.

TIMMY: Busy doing what?

GOD: I keep sending signals down to people hoping they'll come to their senses.

TIMMY: What kind of signals?

GOD: They're different for each person. Some can read the signals easily and some cannot read them at all.

TIMMY: Does that make you mad?

GOD: I don't get mad, I get sad or disappointed.

TIMMY: What else makes you sad?

GOD: When people pray, they don't always wait for my answer. They don't understand that, to me, time is very different than it is to them.

TIMMY: You mean the way it's such a long time from last Christmas to next Christmas, but summertime goes so fast?

GOD: That's exactly what I mean, Timmy. I do get around to everyone but in my time, not theirs. I always listen when they pray, but sometimes I put them on hold.

TIMMY: What do you like people to say when they pray to You?

GOD: I like it best when they say "Thank you for what you have given me and thank you for what you have taken away." That tells me they are on the right track toward a better connection with me and with other people.

TIMMY: A better connection? You mean like the TV commercial, "Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now?"

GOD: Something like that, yes.

TIMMY: You must have fun watching people like it's TV. I guess the angels don't fight with you for the remote like I do with my sister.

GOD: When I created humans and gave them freedom of choice, I thought it wise to also give myself a large sense of humor.

TIMMY: What makes you smile?

GOD: I smile when I get calls from children. I'm especially fond of the little girl who said "Dear God, We read Thomas Edison made light. But in Sunday School, we learned that You did it. So I bet he stole your idea." And a particular favorite was from a boy who said he never thought orange and purple went together until he saw my sunset. He said that was 'cool.' There was also a little boy who thanked me for the baby brother but wanted to remind me that what he had asked for was a puppy. And I smiled when I saw the picture you're drawing of me. Is there anything you'd like to ask me for, Timmy?

TIMMY: Could we have Saint Christopher and Saint Patrick back please? My mom and daddy have been very sad because you fired them.

GOD: I did not fire them. I had Eternally Activated both of them and it was non-cancelable. Will people never understand that wrongful acts are often committed and I get blamed? It's quite hurtful.

TIMMY: What else do people do that hurts you?

GOD: When they talk about being of different races. There's only one: the human race. You see, Timmy, even though I am God, my feelings can still get hurt. Disrespect is not a Godlike thing. I can only hope humans achieve wisdom before they die.

TIMMY: Why do people die and then you have to make new ones? Why can't you just keep the same ones you have already and use them over?

GOD: Because it takes people a lifetime to be come spiritually enlightened. If I used the same people over and over again, there would be no struggle. The answer is not in the outcome, Timmy, it's in the struggle forward. People are like tea bags -- you have to put them in hot water before they can get strong.

TIMMY: Is it okay if I tell people the things you're saying?

GOD: By all means, and tell them to be careful. Even though I created the universe, I haven't signed it yet.

Copyright Maggie Van Ostrand
"A Balloon In Cactus"
June 4 , 2007 column
Email: maggie@maggievanostrand.com
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