Pissing on God

by Bill Brenner on March 27, 2010

The author gets a description of sin he’ll never forget.

Before some of you get all over me about the headline, I should point out that I got it from a priest. He didn’t use the word piss, mind you, but he gave a talk on sin and redemption that involved copious amounts of urine.

Original Sin?

I’ll leave the priest’s name out, though I’ll tell you it wasn’t one of the priests from my home church, or any priest from Massachusetts.

The priest told the story of visiting one of his friends, a farmer. They were in the field helping out a cow who was giving birth. The calf born, the priest asked his farmer friend what was next.

“We gotta get the calf into the barn,” said the farmer, who then insisted the priest pick up the calf and drape it over his shoulders, then carry it to the barn.

On the way, the calf demonstrated its displeasure by urinating all over the priest, who was in a white T-shirt now stained bright yellow.

Later, the priest was in the bath, finding it very difficult to get the calf pee off of him. Then, the priest said he heard God talking to him, revealing a lesson in the mess.

Thanking God for letting the calf pee all over him, the priest protested the sorry state of affairs. According to the priest, God shot back, “That’s what you do to me every day.”

In other words, every time any of us sins against God, it’s like we’re pissing all over him.

Strong imagery. Crude, but it hits home. It resonates with the language I acquired growing up in Revere. The kids were in the car and thought it was all pretty funny. They’re at the age where pee on someone’s shirt is funny.

It also drives home how many times I’ve made a mess of God’s robes through all the sin I’ve committed in my life, especially the stuff I did while under the influence of depression, OCD and addiction.

The haze of OCD and the related addictions exhausted the mind and body and incapacitated me for days and weeks at a time. I was useless to my wife and children. I let friendships suffer because getting the binge and then collapsing under the weight of it was more appealing than being a good friend.

I became a nightmare for co-workers, especially during The Eagle-Tribune days, hovering over page editors and treating reporters more like a disease than the wonderful, talented and hard-working souls they were.

I lied to a lot of people about a lot of things and had the audacity to think I was above others, no matter how screwed up I was.

I’ve asked for and gotten a lot of forgiveness along the way, but for those of you out there who suffered in my wake over the years, I’ll say here that I’m sorry and ask you too for forgiveness.

Above all, though, I say a heartfelt sorry to The Man Upstairs.

I need to try a lot harder to get the sin out of my life. But I know I’ve probably got a lot of pissing left to do.

Not because I want to.

But because I can’t help myself.

Sober and abstinent or not, we addicts have a natural-born tendency to let things get between us and our Higher Power.

Redemption is a lifelong journey.

I hope I get it right.

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