For many years I have heard of the book, “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.” But never read it. I knew enough about it that I could laugh at the jokes made on VH1 at the book’s expense, (but, I was laughing because I am a counter-culture member of my generation. Read my next post to see what I mean by that!)but had never bothered with it. So why, being a little Christian girl obsessed with Jews, did I never pick up this book?
At some point I had been told I should read Judy Blume’s book Blubber. Not a good idea. I can not think of a worse book to give a young girl, especially one who has body image issues and, shall we say, “grew up early”. I was traumatized by the atrocities that occurred in this young adult novel.After this blucky-Blume experience I was less than thrilled at the idea of picking her up again, but the other night at my dog sitting job I had forgotten my book, and so went looking in the various bookshelves around the house. I stumbled upon “Are you there god? It’s me, Margaret.”
So I began to read it.
A little ways in there is a prayer to God before she attends Temple for the first time, which ends with, “…I’ll look for you” I love this idea of a little girl who has never been "formally" introduced to God or Religion just up and going to Temple and looking for God.
I have not finished the book yet, but my initial impression is that Margaret’s attitude to God is refreshing in it naivety. She addresses God as though she were calling him on a cell phone with bad reception, “Hello?! Can you hear me? It’s me! Hello?!” , and then continuing as if she doesn't really care if God can hear or not.
Surprisingly, the ‘real’ book I am reading, “eat, pray, love” by Elizabeth Gilbert, is the memoir of a woman who is learning how to speak to God at a later stage in life, but is much less skilled at it then Margaret. She, too, has a bit I like, about sitting on the bathroom floor and hearing a voice while she is praying (and crying). The voice comes from within her and is beautiful, calm and loving, just what I have been taught God is.
So, I am looking for God, and I realize I may not need to look any further than myself, but I am willing to look in a temple, too.
Currently, my God cell phone is a pay-per-use that I grab only when I’m in dire need, but I hope to buy a plan soon…