Every time someone in my family has faced a health crisis, I’m reminded of how wonderful human beings really are. A friend said to me recently that she hated it when people told her she was in their thoughts and prayers because she was certain that very few people really did pray for you or think much about you when they said it. She placed the comment in the same category as the greeting, “How are you?” to which we are obligated to respond, “I’m fine. How are you?”
Is he the vengeful God of my childhood faith–the one I followed out of fear to avoid the fiery hell that I was told awaited me? The one who exclusively male preachers told me would hound me until I gave up everything I wanted so that I could do what he wanted? The one with whom we must constantly struggle to surrender, beaten down again and again so that we could somehow be lifted up if we managed to survive a battle that was impossible to win?
Or is the Spirit a god of grace, both father and mother, who nurtures me and teaches me to love by loving me no matter how many times I fail? The one who cheers me on and helps me develop my best talents–to do well what I am passionate about doing, to see the face of God in the people who journey with me in this life?
I choose the God of Grace, the one big enough to parent all the different children as they look for guidance–the one who has as many ways of finding us as there are children on this earth. Playwright Thornton Wilder’s Stage Manager says in his playOur Town:
We all know that something is eternal. And it ain’t houses and it ain’t names, and it ain’t earth, and it ain’t even the stars . . . everybody knows in their bones that something is eternal…All the greatest people ever lived have been telling us that for five thousand years and yet you’d be surprised how people are always losing hold of it.
So come now…tell me your stories of the Eternal Something–of the God big enough to love us all and bring out the best in us. No matter what your religion, I invite you to share a story of what is best about your faith, your God, the one who is big enough to love us. Let us come together, drawn by the light that is in each of us, and see the face of God a little more clearly in one another.
Please do not use this space to try to seek converts for your faith or to demean the faith of someone else. Any posts that proselytize for a religion or tear down the beliefs of others will be deleted.