Ear Thumps From God

Posted by Tom.Blackwood on January 28, 2014

I have a strange relationship with God. 

You know how it can sting when someone finger-flicks the back of your ear? That is a brief description of how God deals with me on a regular basis.

God spoke to prophets and moves in people's lives every day. Sometimes the interaction is spectacular. Moses had a burning bush. King Belshazzar got the handwriting on the wall. I get a shot to the ear. 

The ear thump is God's wake up message to me. I get it when I when I start to feel self-satisfied, or when I start to think I'm something special. There will be some little reminder that I ain't all that. 

I became a Presbyterian at 14 for a couple of reasons. 

The first, I prefer to be talked to instead of yelled at. (I was reared a Southern Baptist.) The second reason was the minister at First Pres Lancaster.

I was trying to make some metaphysical theological point, speaking like I thought one should speak to a pastor, and he countered with "Blackwood, you are a dumba**." That is a direct quote.

I figured any denomination that gave its clergy the freedom to use exactly the right words for the situation was for me. Also, that was such an exact assessment of my theological development, I was amazed. It is also an accurate assessment of my current theological knowledge. 

It was prophetic. It still sums up God's message to me, and I accept it.

Every time I am convinced I have it all figured out, there's that thump on the ear and the clear message, "Blackwood, you are a dumba**."

And I'm not big on long prayers. Most of my messages to God are short and stupid. 

I talk to Him several times a day, mostly in the "oops, sorry about that" vein, or the "thanks, I appreciate that" vein.

When I stop short, fractions of a second from burning myself, banging myself on a wall, or slipping on a dryer sheet on the floor, I return thanks. When I do slip on the dryer sheet, I ask forgiveness for my blasphemous choice of words. 

It's the day to day where I find God. The major things are understood between us. I'm thankful for my family and life and friends and all of that, and He knows it. 

If I'm going to take up God's time, I should bug him with world peace and hunger and universal love, things way beyond my own paltry concerns.

This is weird, because I am not totally sold on the idea that my every move is scrutinized and watched over. Yet, that's what I talk to Him about. If God is watching my every move, He must be bored beyond belief. I am busy taking joy in the little things in life because that's all my budget will allow.

In Luke, I'm told that God knows the number of hairs on my head. If that's true, from looking at the drain, I know counting my hairs gets easier every day. 

Ear thump. 

Big picture, small picture, either way, I say "God, God, God, look I'm OK, don't worry about me. I have a good life filled with love. I'm fed. I'm fine. I've got plenty of Band-Aids. There are bigger things for You to worry about than me. You deal with peace and justice and feeding the hungry and caring for the poor and all that stuff. I'm fine. Don't worry about me."

Then God thumps me on the back of the ear and says, "I'm busy counting the hairs on your head, watching the sparrows fall, and spinning the planets and all that jive. YOU take care of justice, peace, feeding the hungry and taking care of the poor.

Do you really think I put you here to drop dishes and provide comic relief?"

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