“I been thinkin’,” he said. “I been in the hills, thinkin’ almost you might say like Jesus went into the wilderness to think His way out of a mess of troubles.”
“Pu-raise Gawd!” Granma said, and the preacher glanced over at her in surprise.
“Seems like Jesus got all messed up with troubles, and He couldn’t figure nothin’ out, an’ He got to feelin’ what the hell good is it all, an’ what’s the use fightin’ an’ figurin’. Got tired, got good an’ tired, an’ His sperit all wore out. Jus’ about come to the conclusion, the hell with it. An’ so He went off into the wilderness.”
“A-men,” Granma bleated. So many years she had timed her responses to the pauses. And it was so many years since she had listened to or wondered at the words used.
“I ain’t sayin’ I’m like Jesus,” the preacher went on. .”But I got tired like Him, an’ I got mixed up like Him, an’ I went into the wilderness like Him, without no campin’ stuff. Nighttime I’d lay on my back an’ look up at the stars; morning I’d set an’ watch the sun come up; midday I’d look out from a hill at the rollin’ dry country; evenin’ I’d foller the sun down. Sometimes I’d pray like I always done. On’y I couldn’ figure what I was prayin’ to or for. There was the hills, an’ there was me, an’ we wasn’t separate no more. We was one thing. An’ that one thing was holy.”
“Hallelujah,” said Granma, and she rocked a little, back and forth, trying to catch hold of an ecstasy.
“An’ I got thinkin’, on’y it wasn’t thinkin’, it was deeper down than thinkin’ I got thinkin’ how we was holy when we was one thing, an’ mankin’ was holy when it was one thing. An’ it on’y got unholy w,hen one mis’able little fella got the bit in his teeth an run off his own way, kickin’ an draggin’ an’ fightin’. Fella like that bust the holiness. But when they’re all workin’ together, not one fella for another fella, but one fella kind of harnessed to the whole shebang, that’s right, that’s holy. An’ then I got thinkin’ I don’t even know what I mean by holy.” He paused, but the bowed heads stayed down, for they had been trained like dogs to rise at the “amen” signal. “I can’t say no grace like I use’ ta say. I’m glad of the holiness of breakfast. I’m glad there’s love here. That’s all.”
The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck, p81
Here’s a nice little presentation thingy with a set of quotes about God from The Grapes of Wrath