So the personal fallout of our friend Jo's death, is that God doesn't asnswer prayer, at least not in the way we like to think He does, and that I want to walk away from faith and the church.
Reading church history tells us quite a bit: that we 'see' God as being like us, that He doesn't have a problem with people suffering and dying, that over and over again we ignore some quite key things while focusing on the stuff that reinforces our view that He's like us only better.
Where do you go when there's no-where to go?
After the crowds went away, Jesus asked His disciples "are you going too?" and they came back with "we've left everything for you - where else can we go?".
It's a bleak place, to discover God isn't who you were taught he was, and that things aren't what you hoped they'd be.
I could walk away if it wasn't for the way that God has, sometimes, been involved with my life. Sunday was interesting, going to a big multi-church meeting in Oxford, watching the visiting speaker indulging in very clear emotional manipulation to whip up the crowd, and then God just dropping the odd bit of genuine change in here & there. Bizarre. It made me soul-search about how I've lead worship in the past, but I've always had as light a touch as possible and feel my conscience is clear, at least in that area.
There is no worship in me right now, and I'm grateful not to be having to teach or lead worship. I still want to walk away, but I can't.
A good friend says that he gets angry with God, but this is far from that and much closer to a desire to stop living and stop struggling with it all. My starting point was whether God even existed, which is no place for anger, and it still is to an extent, but it's changed into wondering how we've mis-understood so badly and whether I really have any idea who God is after all.