This evening in my Praxis fellowship meeting we discussed how do we see God. Chris began by showing a clip from Ira Glass’s This American Life. People gather in the Mojave Desert to gather photographic evidence of God’s existence. These are people that are full of faith, yet they still feel the need for something tangible that they can hold close in the absence of being able to hold God close.
Last semester I took “Otherness of God,” in which we discussed the problem of addressing God as this Wholly Other, super human being. To make God approachable brings God down to the level of humanity and thereby stripping God of his/her omnipotence. Yet from the beginning of written history, humans have been trying to reconnect to the divine.
So how do we preserve the nature of God as this omnipotent, Wholly Other entity but still connect to the divine source? Do we call upon a mediator to act upon our behalf? It occurred to me that throughout history, humans have had many versions of mediators: saints, ancestors, lower level deities, etc. We pray to them to intercede on our behalf, to bring our prayers before God. Their job as mediator is to bridge the gulf between us and God.
But that is only one way to connect to the divine. While I am not above using a mediator as a way to connect to the divine, my preferred method is to see God in God’s creation. My first husband says he feels closest to God in the Grand Canyon. Most people experience that sense of awe when enjoying a vista of one type or other. For me, though, I connect to God by connecting with other people. I see the divine in each of God’s divine creations. The most basic tenet of my personal theology is to honor the divine in everyone.
Namaste: I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells. I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light, and of peace. When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, We are one.
Many theologians have pointed out that if we all began to honor the divine in each other, many of our social ills would be solved straightaway. It seems to me that our most important divine directive is to honor God’s creation, both the earth and humanity.
Since it is late and sleep is calling me, I will wrap up with a question: How have you honored God today?