Monday, July 16, 2007

Oh God

At the beginning of my travels three weeks ago I began to have an intense new experience of God. After Meeting for Worship First Day morning I left feeling upset and had returned to my room to let my emotions move through me. I pulled out my journal and began to write. It wasn't long before I realized that I was writing to God.

"How do I follow you, God, through this pain? You are this pain, but you are also the way through. Help me see it, oh God, help me find you here.."

I had never before addressed God so directly, nor had I ever really considered trying, but these words flowed so naturally and smoothly from my pen. I felt a sense of comfort, a sense that I was not alone, though I was in a room by myself. I then had the striking realization that I had never been alone. The implications of this experience are many and profound.

Since that afternoon I have practiced being consciously attentive to God in every part of my day. I have practiced speaking to God, and prayers and queries have formed naturally in my mind. I I have stressed out that I will forget, I have worried that I will return to old habits once home (and I am home now), and I have practiced asking God for help and releasing my need to control. Trusting God does not mean trying to do it myself, too.

I have continued to search for rationality and compatibility with science. God moves through science, works through science, makes science possible. I read somewhere that science is the study of God's work, and I agree, wholeheartedly. God is the meaning in everything we cannot control, and if we are faithful, God is how we make the right decisions for the few things in life we can control. My experience is my reality, and I trust it above all else.

These past three weeks I have found myself thanking God for all my experiences, for evenings of laughter that left my stomach and face sore, was well as mornings of pain and brokenness that left my heart sore. Both joy and pain are experiences of intense love, and both are opportunities for growth and strengthening. I acknowledged God as both a comforting presence and a blank and painful emptiness. I sought out God in places of discomfort and loneliness and found myself praying to find the meaning, to find Way Forward, to have patience.

Today I found myself focusing to a query that formed into words after I had begun acting in response: Am I patient and thoughtful in all my interactions with others? Do I strive to see that of God in each person I see during the day?

Every single person is full of energy and incredible complexity and utter beauty, and is worthy of love and patience. It is easier to see once you strip away all preconceived notions about personalities, cultures, beliefs, and personal choices, and just see the person as a human, as a pumping heart and breathing lungs and muscles that tense and relax upon command, as a being that is full of life. I practiced seeing this in every stranger I saw, and this, to me, is the practice of seeing God in everyone.

As new as all this is to me, I cannot hide this experience. I am called to integrity, and to stand firm in my experience of God and all that comes with it. I am only just beginning, and there is so much yet to learn.

Love and Light,


Marshall Massey (Iowa YM [C]) said...

These developments sound like good steps forward. May you persevere! I'll be wishing you well.

— And might I add, it was a pleasure to meet you last week?

Claire said...

Marshall - Thanks for the well-wishing. It was indeed a pleasure to meet the other week - it's always nice to meet fellow bloggers in person.

Love and Light,

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thank you! I always wanted to write in my site something like that. Can I take part of your post to my blog?.