I’ve been thinking about God lately.

I imagine a guy enamored with model trains, spending all his time in the basement painting tiny evergreen trees and rail cars carrying fake coal and those yellow and black striped crossing signs. The Big Engineer knows every detail of the goings on in Train Town. He loves the town and is sad when something breaks or when a townsperson falls off the table.

The Train Town me.

The Train Town me.

But he let’s things break, and he doesn’t always fix broken things. He even dismantles parts when he tires of them. He can make new things.

I know it’s stupid (and probably heretical) to imagine God as a model train enthusiast. Train towns aren’t alive like real towns and why would God pick such a tedious hobby?

Still, I wonder how interested God could really be in us, even our alive, sentient versions of train townspeople. Wouldn’t it be mind-numbing, watching us always standing in the same places or riding around and around on the same basic tracks?

The cat scratches at the door, so I get up and let her in from the near-freezing outside. She slinks by quickly and heads to my/her reading chair in the office. I sit back down at the computer and watch her furry middle rise and fall. When I’m home alone, just her presence does mysteriously give me comfort.

I should be more grateful. Less analytic. “Thanks, God, for the cat,” I think/pray.

I am about to go back to pondering the personage of God when I notice something. Near the cat’s tail. I follow the fluffy curve. Beyond a few inches of chair begins another curving thing…Oh. Come. On!

It’s a turd. A gross brown wrinkly dried up old man finger. Pointing at me. Like I’m the butt of a joke. There’s even a bit of fur stuck to it.

“Really? Do you think this is funny, God?”

No answer. I stare at the cat’s poo. On my chair. Like it’s a cosmic message.

What is God saying?

The phone rings. It’s a paid phone solicitor asking for money for St. Somebody Children’s Hospital. I hang up on the guy and feel instantly guilty. Would God have made a donation over the phone? Well, He wouldn’t have just hung up, that’s for sure. But God would know that paid phone solicitors take a big chunk of your donation and that it’s better to donate directly to the cause, right?

This minute, a 13-year-old girl I know is in a children’s hospital in Seattle battling cancer. I’ve seen pictures of her thinning body on the Internet, tracked her progress updates. I’ve even helped raise money for her family. But still, should I have given money over the phone? Am I a bad person?

The turd is still laying on the chair. It says nothing. Silence = I’m a bad person. Stupid poop!

I feel bad. I wonder if God is real.

Remember when we thought the sun and all the planets revolved around the earth? Finally we realized that the universe was hugungus and the earth is just another planet rotating around a random star.

We still imagine ourselves the center of God’s universe, though.

If God does exist, I don’t actually think God is male or female. I mean, gender is so this planet. Not that I would know. Also I wonder if a vast and limitless God really would focus all his time and attention on our boring Train Town. Around and around we go. For millenniums. God must have more going on. Earth can’t be God’s only gig.

That God could feel loneliness and hence create humans for companionship seems suspect. I don’t know. Humans are a strange choice (I mean, we can be horrible), and anyway, why isn’t God just totally blissed out all the time? Isn’t God hanging with the good angels somewhere beyond the pearly gates?

Heaven. I’m probably obsessing about God because of my friend’s recent passing. Stupid mortality. Death always prompts the what-happens-when-you-die questions. Which I hate because I fear going to hell (an abstractly horrible place) and being buried alive (which I can imagine more concretely and am, therefore, terrified of).

Speaking of buried, I can’t stop looking at that freaking cat turd and wondering why IT isn’t buried. In my backyard. Seriously, cat?

Instead there’s excrement on my chair. Judging me. And the presence of visible poop is messing with my deep thoughts, which are probably only deep if you’re like six years old. But how else do we approach incomprehensible ideas like God, except as if we are children?

Maybe the poop is a metaphor. Maybe my message for the day–direct from the Big Engineer–is, “Clean up your shit.”

Or maybe it’s just poop. Either way, I best get rid of it and get on with my life. I have regular Train Town stuff to do. Choo-choo!

P.S. I’m sorry if my wonderings are offensive–that’s not my intent. I just can’t help it. I want to understand things. I want the world to make sense.

And also I mean no disrespect to model railroad enthusiasts. It’s a perfectly good hobby.