Tell My story:
Abigail’s train was late. I had been waiting at Union Station for over an hour and stood to stretch my legs. Some now-forgotten images passed before my eyes, and then,
I want you to be My new Elijah.
“Your new Elijah?” I did not know whether to feel flattered, or overwhelmed, or just crazy. I protested, “Lord, I am not worthy.”
I will decide who is worthy.
I didn’t know what a new Elijah was supposed to be but I knew I did not want the job. “Lord, I don’t have faith enough.”
You have more faith than you know.
“Who is Elijah?”
He is the prophet.
“What is he to me?”
He is you.
I didn’t think that meant that I was literally a reappearance of Elijah, but still I objected, “No, Lord, this is just crazy.”
He is you.
I remembered Abraham Lincoln’s story about the man who was tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail. “If it weren’t for the honor of the thing,” the man said, “I would rather have walked.” And I had seen the war movies, “You will have the honor of leading the assault.” Some honors aren’t worth it.
I did feel the honor. God was about to put His seal on this role for me, a role more suitable for a real Elijah. I felt a swell of pride, as I was being told this, and immediately the line went dead. Ego had broken the connection.
Abigail’s train had still not arrived. I paced back and forth, no longer seeing the other people in the station. What to think? What to feel? Finally, I forced a deep breath and, with irritation mitigated by resignation, asked, “Lord, what exactly do You want of me?”
I want you to describe the inner life of God, what it is like to be God.
The inner life of God? What it is like to be God? I didn’t know what this could possibly mean, but I forged on. “Lord, why is that important for us to know?”
Mankind sees God only from the outside and that leads to distortions in its view of God, as it would of anyone—too distant, awesome, oppressive, Other.
Even mystics are very one-sided. They experience oneness but that is not the same as empathizing with My subjective experiences.
Okay, I could see that, if God is too distant, it would be hard to relate to Him, but there was a problem. “Lord, we think of God as being so infinite and ethereal that ‘subjective experience’ doesn’t even make sense.”
Exactly—that’s one of the distortions. Although I am much more than a Person, I am a Person, a soul, like you.
You—people—cannot relate properly, constructively, to Me unless you understand that. (Take) love, for example. My love comes across as impersonal, generic, oceanic wallowing, but (in fact) it is quite specific, concrete, with feeling, with response to the particulars of your being, of your life.
I want you to tell My story.
God: An Autobiography, As Told to a Philosopher – is the true story of a philosopher’s conversations with God. Dr. Jerry L. Martin, a lifelong agnostic. Dr. Martin served as head of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the University of Colorado philosophy department, is the founding chairman of the Theology Without Walls group at AAR, and editor of Theology Without Walls: The Transreligious Imperative. Dr. Martin’s work has prepared him to become a serious reporter of God’s narrative, experiences, evolution, and autobiography. In addition to scholarly publications, Dr. Martin has testified before Congress on educational policy. He has appeared on “World News Tonight,” and other television news programs.
Listen to this on God: An Autobiography, The Podcast– the dramatic adaptation and continuing discussion of the book God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher by Jerry L. Martin.
He was a lifelong agnostic, but one day he had an occasion to pray. To his vast surprise, God answered- in words. Being a philosopher, he had a lot of questions, and God had a lot to tell him.