Oh how deep are the riches and wisdom and knowledge of Godde! How unsearchable are her judgments and inscrutable her ways!
“For who has known the mind of [Godde]? Or who has been her counselor? Or who has given her anything, so that they should be repaid?”
Because from her and through her and to her are all things. To her be the glory forever! Amen.”
So I urge you by the mercies of Godde, sisters and brothers, to offer your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to Godde, which is your spiritual service.
Romans 11:33 – 12:1 (DFV)
We keep getting stuck. We keep getting stuck in the concept and tradition of God as we learned it. And in doing so, we miss the chance to experience the living God, that deep inspiration that can transform us, body and soul.
We each learned of God from someone else, who learned of God from someone else, and onward it has gone, a centuries-long game of telephone. One mind insufficient for comprehension explaining the incomprehensible to another mind, also insufficient for comprehension.
How could this possibly be optimal?
We are also taught to believe that God reveals Herself in a book chock full of words. And so many of us have come to think of those words as if they are imbued with some magical ability to be timelessly inerrant. Words, timelessly inerrant.
What kind of magic is this?
Words are symbols that we human beings use to enable us to communicate more easily about our experience. They are symbols, not even reflections; they don’t earn that distinction. Just symbols of what we experience in a given place and time and emotional situation.
They are our creations. Words were designed to convey, in symbols, our experience of ourselves. They were not designed to convey Holy Wisdom.
And that’s how we get stuck. One mind after another, each incapable of understanding, presenting an explanation of God, in symbols we’ve created to convey our experience alone, to countless other minds, also incapable of understanding.
Some might argue that it’s all we have. Passing God along in words, both those conceived of in our minds and spoken aloud, and those long ago written down.
But I would suggest that there’s another way. There’s an entirely different part of ourselves that can interact with and explore God.
Which, using those pesky words again, might best be described as our hearts, our bodies.
To me, the words, “I know God,” have much less chance of being accurate than the words, “I feel God.”
What if God is really illuminated, not in explanations and expectations, in verses and shared definitions, but in each person’s experience and enactment of love, justice, solidarity, compassion?
What if God is something more thoroughly embodied than understood?
Let us pray.
Holy Wisdom, precious Diversity of One, help us come alive to our sense of You.
Help us become aware of our delimiting reliance on others’ explanations of You, and the insufficient capacity of words to explain You.
Help us fearlessly open ourselves to this new experience, one in which we feel You intricately woven into our very being.
Grant us the humility to recognize each other as equally precious embodiments of You, that in doing so we might find the courage to embrace the glory of a God incarnate.
Learn more about the Fast of Embodied Solidarity by reading this article in the Chicago Daily Herald.
“Larycia Hawkins will be the Abd el-Kader visiting faculty fellow at the University of Virginia until August…” Read this Chicago Tribune story.
Read other Fast of Embodied Solidarity posts on Facebook.
Twitter hastags include #EmbodiedSolidarity #TrueReconciliation.