Dear Me, God is not as violent as you think...

Dear fifteen year old me, 

It is very tempting to attribute all sort of anger to God. I get it. God gets angry in the bible and seems to call forth fire and destruction. I understand that Jesus gets angry and flips the Temple tables over. I understand that God is given all sort of credit for the destruction of people. I understand this does not makes sense to you now, but over the next twenty years you will read, learn, listen and experience many things which will help you to see that God is not as violent as you think. 

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Lest you think that God is just a happy go lucky, head in the clouds, distant and unconcerned God, let me stop you right there. I also know that you are prone to think that life (and God) are either/or. So, you may be thinking, if God is not angry then God must be happy. Either God is angry or God is not. Again, I understand where you are coming from. Remember, I am you. You will also come to discover that life is not as black/white and either/or as you think it is right now, but that is a letter for another day. Right now I want you to begin to see that God's lack of fire and fury does not mean God does not care. As a matter of fact, you will come to see that God cares more than you can imagine. When you cry, God cries with you. When you are baffled at the hypocrisy of the world, God is also. And, yes, when you are angry at the injustice in the world, God joins in that anger. However, and this is the key, God's anger does not and has never resulted in the destruction of people. 

God is not as violent as you think and may you come to grow into embracing the non-violence God in Jesus gives humanity. Because when you do, you discover the goodness of the world, the love that sustains and the hope of resurrection that transforms the world. 

Be kind to yourself and others, 

Jason