God the ever-greater one: Stop wrestling

So if you wrestle with the idea of God, stop wrestling.  Instead, go love someone.  Drop your cynicism; fast from snark; hold a child's hand; embrace your grandmother tenderly; tell someone what he or she means to you; compliment your father.  Choose one action a day that dislocates you from the center of your universe.  Perhaps you might even try a starter prayer: "I don't believe in you, but I'm willing to be wrong."

The fruit of Mary Karr's wrestling was enough humility to begin to distrust her past judgments about God, such that she began to be surprised by God.  And these surprises lead to what is, in the end, the most fundamental form of what Christians call "revelation."  Recounting her reading passages from a Bible her grandmother had given her mother in the 1920's, Karr describes seeing that her mother had underlined the two passages that Karr's own spiritual director had suggested she use in prayer that very week.

As miracles go, it may not even seem like one.  But it feels as if God once guided my mother's small hand, circa 1920-something, to make to notes I'd very much need to find seventy years later-a message that I could be made new, that I am-have always been-loved.

Her insight, her revelation, is that she is loved, that her life is pregnant with meaning because she has been created for something. 

How small that is, with which we wrestle, what wrestles with us, how immense.

4/26/2012 4:00:00 AM