How's your relationship with God going these days? Not too good? I’ve got an idea for you: Why not take God to couples therapy, and work out some of those niggling conflicts?
I’m friends with someone who actually did this — she’s an actress and writer named Susan Isaacs. “Why are you so mean to me?” she asked God. “And why do you ignore me when I talk to you? How come you're always right and I'm always wrong?” God's response? “You never spend enough time with me.”
Okay, Susan didn't really undergo couples therapy with God. But she came pretty close, and then she wrote a brilliantly funny comedy sketch about it for a dramatic group called King Baby. But Susan's life fell apart, and she really did see a therapist to try to repair her relationship with the Almighty. She describes the entire, hilarious story in a book titled Angry Conversations with God. It illustrates how humor can help us explore some of the most difficult aspects of life and faith.
Susan had been a struggling actress and writer for years. By the time she turned 40, her life had hit rock bottom. She was out of a job, her boyfriend had just ripped her heart out (not literally), and she was living over a garage. She'd also developed a drinking problem and suffered from bulimia. And whom did she blame? God, of course. All of her friends were married, successful and happy. If God really loved Susan, why didn't He get a move on and fix her life?
Susan eventually realized that her personal tragedies “ceased to be the tragedy at all: the tragedy,” she wrote, “was God's response — total silence. I couldn't hear God or see God or sense God anywhere or in anything. Some people call this the Dark Night of the Soul. It was dark, all right. And silent.”
But in time, Susan discovered that she had a mistaken concept of who God was. He wasn't the abusive, deadbeat spouse she’d come to view Him as, but a loving Father. And she discovered her own flaws in their relationship. As Susan recalls, “I saw now all too clearly why I had married God: for the power and the glory. For the money.” The problem wasn't God; the problem was her.
I love the way Susan uses humor to make this point. It's something I enjoy doing myself from time to time. In fact, a few years ago I wrote a series of books titled Everything You Always Wanted to Know about God but Were Afraid to Ask, which use humor to grab the attention of the reader — especially people who otherwise might never have considered the claims of Christ.
Of course, Jesus Himself employed humor in the forms of irony and sarcasm. For instance, He told His followers that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” And he sarcastically — maybe “snarkily” is a better word — told the Pharisees: “You blind guides, who strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel!”
Susan Isaacs doesn't sugarcoat the faith. She is both brilliantly hilarious and passionately Christian. If you have an unsaved friend who might appreciate a bitingly funny spiritual memoir, or someone who is trying to figure out why a good God would allow him to drop a meatball on his necktie on the biggest day of his life — get them a copy of Angry Conversations With God.
You might also want to read it yourself, simply because it's so funny. As the author of Proverbs reminds us, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”
Of course, we have Angry Conversations with God at our BreakPoint online bookstore, as well as my book, Everything You Always Wanted to Know about God but Were Afraid to Ask.
Eric Metaxas is a co-host of BreakPoint Radio and a best-selling author whose biographies, children's books, and popular apologetics have been translated into more than a dozen languages.
BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print.
Publication date: September 5, 2012