“When I speak about God, I offer my words as a beginning…”
My fellow Patheos blogger, Tony Jones, issued a challenge this week to those who call themselves “Theo-bloggers” to “Write something substantive about God. Not about Jesus, not about the Bible, but about God.”
Since I am just now owning the title of blogger, Theo-blogger feels like a stretch.
I am also still in that “four generations of women needing extra care” family space, so these aren’t deeply seasoned words.
But since, through the kindness of my internet connected friend, Bob, I know of this invitation, I thought I would give it a shot. But, truly, to ask me to write about God without writing about Jesus feels like blogging without using words. It simply isn’t something that interests me. Stories of Jesus are the best language I know. So, I’m breaking the rules (won’t be the first time).
God is I am:
When I think of God’s “I am-ness”, it makes me think of the Samaritan woman. God is free to set God’s own rules and speak when and where and how God speaks. At the same time, I generally find God using that freedom and largeness and otherness to engage me, to invite me to connect with the One who speaks to me face to face, in Spirit and in truth, and offers me a taste of living water within. These days I meet God’s I am-ness often in my longstanding back pain. I meet God there and we talk, though I have to say, honestly, I’m not sure where our conversation is headed.
God is Love:
Born of Mary, nurtured in her body, suckled at her breast, bonded to her in love. Maybe it’s because I am witnessing my first grandchild bond so beautifully with my daughter and son-in-law these days… wonderful parents who eat and sleep (or not) love for their daughter. It is giving me a new sense of the beauty of God coming as an infant inside Mary’s body and the Love implicit in that exquisitely tender and humbly chosen vulnerability.
God is Comfort:Life is painful… at times, immensely so. Pain so real and sometimes so intense and unending that we are completely silenced by it. This week I have witnessed great pain in others facing pending death, mental illness, abuse, sickness, job loss, and betrayal. Yet, somehow, someway, somewhere God is present with comfort or perhaps, better said, God is present as Comfort. I think of the tears of Jesus with Mary of Bethany on the road after Lazarus had died. What more could be said? What more needed to be said?
So, now I waive my magic wand and turn all my readers into Theo-bloggers and
I invite you, too, to write something about God.
For some of you, that will be easy, for others, not so much. This was a wonderful invitation for me… harder than I expected and it was especially interesting to explore why that was so. Interestingly, the difficulty wasn’t because I don’t know what I believe, but simply because I see “belief “ differently than I used to see it.
When I speak about God, I offer my words as a beginning, utterly aware of how much I don’t know especially in regard to God! I speak about God with what feels like a healthy fear, risking speaking in order to step further into relationship with God and other people. At the same time, I feel that I live in a world in which many people see, and read, belief as an endpoint, as a non-negotiable, definitive knowing, the place where curiosity has completed its work rather than simply paused to speak. Sometimes, I wonder if there’s room for even faith to exist in the context of their unwavering certainty. Though Truth itself is solid ground, my knowing of Truth is inherently incomplete: a humbly offered, faith welcoming “best guess” on which I have staked my life.
So, in the safety of my confessed incompleteness, I hope you will take the risk to write a few things about God… or if not that, maybe you will let us in on why you elect not to write about God. And, don’t forget, on my blog, it’s okay to break the rules.