I love this story for many reasons. First, it’s just flat-out funny. I mean, you would never expect a nun to talk to God like that. What St. Teresa exclaimed is so startling, you just have to laugh.
Next, this story brings a smile to my face because it is such a great example of chutzpah. Since a large percentage of our Catholic faith is based on God’s relationship with His Chosen People, our Jewish brethren, we should employ one of their best words more often: chutzpah, which means “self-confident audacity.” Only someone who was really confident in her close relationship with God could speak such audacious words to Him.
Finally, I love this story for what it says about God more than what it says about St. Teresa. As we all know, God is God, and we are not. God is all-powerful, eternal, all-knowing, and perfect. We, on the other hand, aren’t even close. It’s only natural for puny humans to bow down in humble awe and fear before the Almighty Creator of the Universe. (Or as Pastor Steve Brown often says, “If you’ve never stood before God and trembled, then you’ve never stood before God.”)
God is so loving and forgiving, I’m fairly certain when St. Teresa shook her muddy fist at the sky and yelled her snarky comment, God laughed out loud. Then, just for fun, He probably made it rain a little harder.
I know this is difficult for some people to understand, but God is playful. How can I say such a sacrilegious thing, you ask? Easy. Because love is playful. People who are in love want to be with each other, and laugh and frolic together. St. Teresa knew this. She loved God so much, and knew He loved her back, that she could freely say exactly what was on her mind at that moment.
For the time being, let’s just remember that despite all the trials of life, God loves us and He wants us to be in a close relationship with Him. If we understand that He is the perfect, forgiving parent, and that He really wants to laugh and frolic with us, we can tell Him exactly what’s on our mind. And in the process, we can even display a little chutzpah.