My whole life I could see the destruction caused by Godzilla. I felt pain when it maimed and killed people who looked like me. I saw the hatred it pulled out of people who didn’t look like me. I can see those faces yelling and crying. I can see the faces mourning lost loved ones in the wake of a powerful force.
It has only been within recent years that I started to see Godzilla itself. At first, I thought I was crazy. For many years a Godzilla sighting would make me feel this way. “No, no Eichelle. Don’t be crazy.” It’s the magic of this powerful being. There are too many people who benefit from not seeing it.
Now I see Godzilla. I see this giant green monster destroying the country I live in. Killing mothers and babies. Disappearing and murdering women. Taking lives on a regular basis with no recourse. People get upset for a while, but it’s too crazy to believe that a monster caused all the chaos. So, we just pretend that everything is fine. Anyone who dares admit that we as a people are sick with poison and being killed by a monster, we write them off. Just people angry for no reason. Or people trying to scapegoat their problems instead of taking responsibility for themselves.
At first it was hard to truly see Godzilla. I didn’t want it to be true. Now I see it and I must decide what to do about it. What am I going to do about the systems of injustice, white supremacy and patriarchy that affect me? Systems I am complicit in, systems I benefit from. What am I going to do?
The analogy of Godzilla as a representation for systems of injustice fueled by white supremacy and patriarchy came to me on a hike with my husband. I was angry. This is not an emotion I allow myself to feel often, but I am getting better at it. Godzilla is perfect, because for those of us who see these systems a monster is what we see. There are piles and piles of data that show racism is taking lives. It’s happening right now, but to say that is as radical as to say a large green monster has invaded downtown Tokyo.
It doesn’t change however that it’s the truth. A truth I have to come to terms with. I see the monster and now I must decide what I am going to do about it.
There is a really cool song by the David Crowder Band that plays on this familiar hymn. It describes God’s love as a hurricane. The ferocity of a hurricane bending me like a tree is both awe inspiring and terrifying.
My friend died. He to my knowledge did not believe in and/or worship the Christian god. The god I call Father. This has made me begin to question everything. Not really everything simply the root of my faith. Which has led me to giant philosophical questions.
Did my friend go to hell? Is he beginning an eternity of suffering now, right this second as I sit typing? This line of questioning led me to more questions. What was the point of my friend’s life? He seemed happy here in the physical world we call earth? He did not die due to some horrible vice or source of sin. He suffered a quick and painful four months dying of cancer. Then he was gone. Did I help send him to hell? I am a Christian and yet the only part of my faith he saw was cowardice. I didn’t tell him of the gospel. Does that make his eternal suffering my fault?
Then I turned my focus. God made him. My friend was God’s child just like I am. If that is true and God loves him like he loves me how then could He allow him to suffer forever?
Bigger question, what does this tell me about the being I call Father?
Sometimes I wish I could be a humanist. This life is all there is and then we die and go nowhere. We just cease to exist. How easy that would make life. No moral lines, no standards for right and wrong, no fighting. I still love Him though. I still believe He exists and this belief requires things from me.
I chose to believe He exists, but how is that possible? How can He be all-powerful, all-knowing, loving, wrathful god and not be able to prevent His children from suffering?
I remember an old professor of mine during one of his many ventures away from the topic of American History answering that if God exists He will have to answer for suffering. I never really understood what he meant. I had faith that one persons’ suffering may help another or even help that individual. I have always had an answer to why suffering exists. Suffering exists for other people and for us. I saw good in all the darkness. I saw a clear goal in life: Know God.
Now I don’t know if the God I know is accurate. Have I crafted a God that makes me feel better? Have I turned Him into something He’s not? Is he really a sadistic evil being? Is He an uncaring being? Are humans a failed experiment politely left to live out of pity?
God’s love has been so clear to me all my life. Now I wonder how does He love us?