It used to be, when lost in places of confusion, hurt, or pain, I would turn to the God of whom I’d been told and taught – completely certain that if I just looked hard enough, had faith enough, believed enough, everything would make sense. There had to be an answer, a template, a rubric, a principle to apply.
It never occurred to me that there were no answers. It never occurred to me that perhaps my plight was not because I was doing something wrong (not being good enough, devoted enough, disciplined enough, obedient enough). It never occurred to me that sometimes, oftentimes, things have no rhyme or reason to them at all.
There came a time, not all at once, but over many years, in which I stopped looking to God (at least the one of whom I’d been told and taught). I began to allow questions instead of seeking pat answers. Graciously, maybe even miraculously, I began to look within.
What do I know? What do I feel. What do I desire? What do I believe? What if the God of whom I’d been told and taught isn’t the only one, the only way? What if there is something more? What if I am something more? (Wouldn’t that be something?!?)
As my questions rose, so did my voice. I rejected (at least for a time) an entire interpretive, exegetical history. I articulated my rage at the patriarchy. I swirled and screamed and shouted to whoever would listen and even those who would not. I asked more questions: What of the women? Where is her voice, her perspective, her lens? And if Hers is silenced, missing, ignored, what about mine? These questions did have answers. And I knew them – inherently and intuitively within.
These days, I find and treasure places of rest, overlap, and even healing in which the God(s) of my past and present merge, where the tension is soothed, where I can breathe, where I can imagine, where I can be.
I continue to listen and question and wonder – certain of and comforted by this:
There is no static God, no singular understanding, no immutable truth. This is grace and gift.
Every (attempt at) comprehension throughout the centuries has arisen from someone’s questions, musings, and imagination – their particular culture, philosophy, and way of being – which is ever-changing, ever-evolving. I’m a “someone.” So are you.
If there is an immutable truth, it is this: we have complete and unfettered permission to understand and experience God/the Sacred in ways that speak to, inform, and transform us – uniquely, individually, perfectly.
- Who might the God/Sacred be that invites us to hear and trust our own brilliance, our own power, our own heart with complete confidence?
- Who might the God/Sacred be that reminds us of our strength and worth?
- Who might the God/Sacred be that already dwells within us – waiting, watching, loving, and longing for us to step up, speak out, say yes, say no, say “now”?
- Who might we be if this was the God/Sacred in whom we believed, trusted, dwelled?
With so much hope that it may be so for you and me both . . .