My latest work is a piece called “Letters from God.” I don’t know how many letters it will be total, but its coming together very nicely. My motivation for it was from the recent letter from Satan to our dear Pat Robertson who believes that people are dying in Haiti as a result of a pact made with the Devil.
It makes me wonder: What is it that people are really doing or saying in the name of their God? How do they know they are acting in line with what their God would want? I think back to all those times I’d given church a chance, and I often feel ever more disappointed with every visit. It seems, to me, that if I were an interactive God, I’d want people to really engage and build intimacy with me, rather than fake their way through the “club-house.”
This project is trying to answer the questions of:
- if God talks to us today, by what means would he communicate?
- if God had a message for us, how would he express it?
- How would God feel about those practicing the religion?
- What would God’s message be to you or me?
- What is God’s personality like? Authoritative? Funny? Loving?
There are 3 fictional characters involved, God, a girl, and a boy. The letters are written to your typical church goer, a nameless boy. The letters are written by God, dictating thoughts, ideas, and feelings to a nameless girl. Each character has a richly developed life, personality, and circumstance.
The girl finds herself in the midst of a stormy life situation, and meets a stranger– the boy. In her head, she begins to fascinate herself with this stranger, leading her to believe that God wants her to connect with him. In the midst of her life situation and believing that she hears God, she also has to come to terms with her own fears of intimacy– those three vectors come into play throughout the letters as she tries to remain objective to not sully the letter’s that God wants her to write to this boy.
The boy is a seemingly private person, and although is threatened by the non-convention of the girl, is curious as to what she is all about. As a church goer, he believes in God, but doesn’t subscribe to the sort of God that is being taught about on the pulpit. Most obviously, he sees her in this storm and feels bad for her. Still, he wavers between wanting to care and utter apathy. In this piece, the boy is only described in the letters and it is not revealed as to how he receives them.
God, in these letters, is trying to reach out and speak to the boy. Instead of a burning bush, God uses the willingness and non-conventions of a tortured girl. The letters are written as if God was writing them. Yet, it’s totally written from the girl’s perspective, as she struggles with her own sanity throughout each letter. God makes no claims too bold in order to maintain omniscience and omnipotence. Humor, sarcasm, anger, love, and worry are some of the characteristics attributed to God in the personality and tone that each letter carry, making it easier to understand the sort of intimacy that this God would desire.