Friday, February 22, 2013

Humbled by God and Man

"If religion is to bring light to our broken world, we need, as Mencius suggested, to go in search of the lost heart, the spirit of compassion that lies at the core of all our traditions." -Karen Armstrong

I met a man the other day who only wanted to talk about the God that he had pushed aside when he discovered the lure of scientific data and the truth that lay behind his experiments of a lifetime.

I wasn’t in the mood to defend God or my concept of God as the Source and Substance of All Reality. I wasn’t going to initiate the selling of any God yet again. I, too, had conducted my own experiments during my lifetime. Sharing them at this time was not an option for me.

Instead, I noticed how a sadness settled over my heart and my chatter ceased.

My God was always Compassionate, Merciful, Thoughtful, Encouraging, Ineffable.

His God was angry and vengeful and thoughtless.

I looked through him to the boy who had lost his faith in frustration and fury.

I would have defended my definition of God, but I feared his rejection and his mockery. But, most of all, I feared that I would be misunderstood.

To begin to learn about God, one must begin from not knowing. From the dark places of the soul that await the light places within the heart. From alienation and abandonment through to brokenness and bereavement. This place of deepest dread brings one to a humbling experience that alone leads to healing and awakening.

I had spent my life drawing myself away from the separateness that I feel for the other. The call to lead a religious and spiritual life compells me to overcome this attitude. We are all part of God, and God is inside each of us.

I surrendered my need to "teach" and "to instruct" this man who only wanted to talk about the God that he had pushed away so early in his life. Somehow, my presence in his life would have to suffice. My speech ultimately would have been insufficient.

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