se deus quiser.

ojalá. inshallah. se deus quiser. god willing.

as a missionary in brazil i remember being frustrated by the almost inbred dependence of god wanting something to be. no matter the request, the answer was spilling off of lips without a second thought, “se deus quiser.” the phrase was usually accompanied by a flick of the wrist – almost implying a helplessness. as if nothing were required on their part, and everything on His. i remember once, after asking if we’d see a family at church that coming sunday, the woman gave the rote response. i broke. i excitedly blurted out, “ELE QUER!!!” it seemed so obvious, of course god wants you to seek out good things in life!

in idea, this common phrase, is beautiful – laying our hopes, our desires, our will on the altar. working out our salvation and then asking, allowing, needing, god to fill in the rest. this need is something we are not capable of on our own.  this divine intervention is our modern day mana.

in practice – it seems slightly faithless, if not fearful or even lazy. it struck me as taking the easy way out. washing your hands of all responsibility for the path your life will take, because, well, maybe god didn’t will it.

last summer i found myself surrounded by well-wishers invoking god’s will on my behalf.

i was 10 weeks pregnant and during a routine ultrasound heard the words, “i’m sorry.”

not wanting the strangers in the room to feel uncomfortable i repeatedly told them it was okay, i was okay, everything was okay. but everything was not.

i had spent the previous four weeks just trying to survive. and while family and friends were not aware, by necessity, my coworkers were.

the aftermath produced otherwise not outwardly religious people expressing confidence that god was real. and that he had a plan. in essence, se deus quiser.


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