God Is Not Like You

God Is Not Like You May 26, 2021

A few weeks ago I ran across the term “platonic marriage,” about which I have more investigating to do, but today…today we have a real treat:

It was May, and the snow had finally retreated from its grungy heaps on the streets of Minneapolis. I was 33, nearly 34—and I was ready to be a mom. I’d been ready for years. There was just one problem: I had a terrible track record with love. After one final attempt at a romance had crashed and burned—in spite what I had read as stunning chemistry—I knew I had to reassess.

Which she did, but she had a problem:

Conception looks a little different than usual. It requires some kind of outside product. In my case, the missing ingredient was sperm. But as I was soon to learn, a small vial of this plentiful natural resource can cost a lot of cash in the world of artificial insemination. I’d assumed that conceiving a child would come as part of a relationship, no up-front monetary investment required.

After doing some research, she was shocked:

To use a “known” donor—someone you have made an arrangement with, someone like Robert—it costs more than $5,000 for the first set of vials. (A “set” consists of whatever your donor can produce in one ejaculation. It might be one vial or it might be eight.) This is, they say, due largely to the testing required. It does add up to a lot more than an STI panel, though. And if you need more little swimmers? It’s nearly $1,400 for each additional go-round, each extra set of vials. Plus, each time a donor gives a sample, the clinic requires medical testing at two separate visits six months apart. The sperm is only released after that six-month waiting period. Oh—and don’t forget Fed-Ex fees, starting at $275 per shipment. I hung up the phone with my mind spinning.

So she tried something cheaper:

He got his STI tests through the VA clinic. We arranged for him to come over on short notice the next time I was ovulating. And we also decided we’d use the “natural method” of insemination—sex, that is. I’m not sure what would have happened if I’d asked him to use the Dixie cup. But I didn’t. This was, after all, the most scientifically effective method: cervical fluid can work wonders. Besides, he was interested in nontraditional relationships, in intimacy without the strings of conventional romance. Though I didn’t share his polyamorous leanings, right about then, I could appreciate the philosophy. His unconventional lifestyle matched my unconventional family plan. When the time came, we stood looking at my bookshelf for a while, drinking the bottle of Malbec I’d gotten to loosen us up. Then, kindly but ever-so-awkwardly, we had procreational sex.

I mean, the whole thing is so curious and tragic.  As usual, I’m not *trying* to be Apocalpytic TM. I just find it interesting that this culture is so unhinged–both in the particular troubles of people’s individual lives, and in the corporate ruin–that an educated person who apparently teaches at some kind of higher institution would go on such a “journey” to get something that has always been, how do I put it? obvious? Necessary for the continuation of the human family?

This is beyond the question of passing on lore from one generation to another. This is a whole repositioning of the self in the center of the comsos that it produces actual intellectual debilitation. But also, most terribly, there aren’t a lot of inches between that view of the child and the human up there, and the one below. Here’s a wretched tweet:

I do feel like this is a pretty good time to be a Christian because, well, the Christian doesn’t have to work very hard. Back in the day you had to think about hard stuff like the Trinity, and the divinity of Jesus, and justification, and all kinds of thorny theological issues. But now, in these latter days, all you have to be able to say out loud is that human beings aren’t God and can’t do whatever they want because if they do, they will destroy everything. Not being God is good for each of us, because then nice things come back–things like family, and children not being devoured by the sickening habits and inclinations of adults.

And remember, if you’re a Christian, praying for everything might seem like a useless and boring activity, but you, not being God, can spread all your anxieties and concerns out before him–all the things you want but don’t have (like children, or a husband, or a wife, or anything), all the people who cause you worry, all the disappointments of your life, all the little troubles that clutter up and destroy your possible happiness. God, though he appears to be silent, so that you think he might be like you, is not like you. He has power, and he is good. You don’t have power, which is good because you are not good. But he will give you his goodness. He will reorganize your mind and heart so that it won’t be so insane, if you ask him nicely.

And now I have to go do something, I don’t know what, but hopefully it won’t destroy the lives of other people. Have a great day!

Photo by Daniel Herron on Unsplash

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