"I think God gives us problems so we can learn to deal with them, not so he can fix them."
God stands where the problems are not; God plays hide-and-seek in the shadows, begging us to turn over every rock, and see what festers underneath. The starving, the hidden, the base neglected orphan parts of ourselves. Catch a glimpse of Him, in the act of turning over; in the way water catches the light, and then He is gone again. God lives in the darkest, sweatiest, scariest places, and begs for you to come and find Him. To confess. He sits in the dark, on the porch, under stones beneath the water, waiting for you to turn the light on. To welcome Him home.
Adam arrives and Marlene calls him Hotshot. He likes it when she does that. She had two daughters. Marlene goes home and when Marlene's back is turned, Cathy can say it: "Say a prayer for me, Marlene."
Marlene prays for Cathy every day, she says; now that her back is turned she can say it. And what on earth did Cathy think she meant, when she said she prayed for family?
Cathy joins her son in the kitchen, worried. "I ran into Andrea, and she said you're an asshole?" It stings, the guilt and the million complex things around the guilt: Her flesh, their easy friendship and his hand upon her breast. The wonderful way she seems to know everything about everything. He thinks about her and he feels so bad that it turns itself into anger, anger in response to her anger, before he can even notice that it's him turning over: "Probably on the rag," he spits, shocking them both.
He nods; it was too far. "We had a fight. No big deal." Cathy explains, as a person who has gotten great at mistakes and the making of them, that life is too short for burdens: "If things are bad with Andrea because of something you did, you should apologize." Truth feels good. Like a slap, or a bright light. Like a little death, so that something new can grow.
The pastor watched his children playing Yahtzee! and when one of the dice dropped off the table, they debated a bit before agreeing on a do-over. "Now I ask you, wouldn't it be nice -- as adults -- to have a do-over, every now and then? Who wants to be free of lies and hypocrisy, and be reborn, and begin again today?"
Sean hates gift-giving because it implies that some days are more special than others; that on some days I love you just a little bit more than I did yesterday or will tomorrow; that the dates for these moments of pure love are invented by and large by the same corporations that are killing us all. And the truth is like that: Every day is a do-over. Every day is a chance to be free of lies and hypocrisy and be reborn and begin again.