So Far from God by Ana CastilloI loved this book. Its kind of magical realism for the North American feminist. Growing up in a catholic feminist family with my mom and 3 sisters and a dad who was there -- but not so much -- the story felt like a dramatic and whimsical telling of themes Ive lived. Like Ana Castillo, Ive lived in Chicago and New Mexico, so the terrain and language felt pretty familiar, too.
Its a fun fast read and its one of those books where you pick up odd little random facts such as:
* what really goes on in conglomerate factories,
* peacocks possess an annoying bawl in lieu of birdsong,
* how modern priests are often afraid of little girls
* what to expect in a community religious procession or pilgrimage
* why men pretending to spiritual enlightenment should be avoided like one of the seven plagues
It has some heavy-handed conceits and symbolism -- especially in the way the daughters named Esperanza, Fe, Caridad and La Loca of all things are actualized and personified. But its a silly, fun, trip through the lives of women distilled through the perspective of mothers.daughters/sisters.
Incidentally, the title comes from a quote by Porfirio Diaz, ¡Pobre México! ¡Tan lejos de Dios y tan cerca de los Estados Unidos! (Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States!)
Do You Feel Distant from God?
When God Feels Far Away
Earlier this year, I was feeling great in my walk with God. I would awake eager to dive into His word, to pray to Him about my day, to put on worship music and just rest in His embrace. I could clearly feel His presence as I went about my days and was able to vividly see the many ways in which He was at work within my life. It started when I opted to scroll on Instagram instead of read my Bible. And pushed off prayer until the wee hours of the night, falling asleep before really saying anything.
It seems to be one of the most common experiences of the Christian life. God feels far away, like he is hiding himself , or at least withholding his reviving presence. We feel destitute, spiritually dry, and desperate for a sense that he is still there, still listening, still caring. Where are you, Lord? Can you hear me?
I was reading this verse the other day, which is a familiar one to me, as it always hits home when I consider my own journey with Jesus. I allowed familiarity to rob me of the initial wonder I had experienced by turning this verse into mere words instead of the intended promise of life in them. It hit me again and came alive with fresh revelation and grace. Just so we have a little background on Ezekiel, he was a prophet God had called to speak to His people while they were exiled in Babylon. The Israelites had found themselves captives due to their ongoing, relentless sin without any intention of stopping to turn back to God.
From Pastor Colin S. Smith
Have you ever felt so far away from God? Like, you used to hear Him, feel Him, and stay in His presence at all times, but now you don't? Many times in our lives we go through so many things that take our attention and focus away from God see 1 Timothy We're busy with work or our studies, our families, our health, even our time to unwind. I'm pretty sure you can relate to this.