The cringe of God: An awkward theodicy

One of the main points of my soon-to-be international mega-bestseller Awkwardness is that awkwardness spreads. If you witness an awkward situation, even one you’re not directly involved in, you feel awkward as well.

One of the main points of much contemporary theology is that God has genuine compassion for human beings, rather than being totally impassible.

In the course of our daily IM session today, Brad suggested these two insights can be combined, that the Supreme Being who watches over all of us is constantly paralyzed by the force of human awkwardness. It’s bad enough to watch one guy get shot down hitting on a woman — how about millions, every hour of every day? What if you spent all eternity watching jokes fall flat, watching grown children unable to let go of childhood sleights while visiting their parents for the holidays, watching people panic as they realize that their transaction is over-complicated and hundreds of people behind them in line are seething with hatred?

In that case, the answer to the problem of evil is that God can’t do anything, as he’s locked into a permanent cringe.

One could also try a trinitarian interpretation of the awkwardness of God: the Son is the Wince of God, and the Holy Spirit is the breath he sharply inhales.

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