Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Monday, January 10, 2022

Shaken Up

Love wants to reach out and shake us up

Be the bull in a china shop and break a few cups.

The Beloved wants to turn us upside down and inside out


When the Sacred is in such a “playful drunken mood”

Most of us

Quickly slink from the room

Hoping the divine won’t notice  (a paraphrase of a poem by Hafiz)


There is one thing we can say about God

God is not safe!


We want God to be safe

And we want God to make us safe

We want God predictable

We even want to control God


Perhaps this is why we create a God who is not God

Jacqui Lewis suggests that some of us imagine God as punitive, angry, and vengeful because these are aspects of ourselves that make us feel powerful and protected,

rather than vulnerable.


And God knows that we don’t want to feel vulnerable!


It seems to me that God is often in the process of shaking things up

Isaiah images God as a 150,00 lb Caterpillar creating a freeway in the desert

And insists that God is always doing “a new thing!”

Can’t we see it?


Jesus certainly shook things up

Love your enemy.

Turn the other cheek.

Give away all that you have!  Heck, give away half of what you have like Zacchaeus.

Bless those who curse you.

If you want to be great be a servant.


The list goes on!


It is not that God doesn’t comfort.

But as the saying goes, “God comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable.”


When we want to be comfortable God is there

Creating a little chaos.


Where do we need a little chaos today?

We all need some (I suspect)


Right now I would like to see God create a little chaos in the lives of others.

I would like to see God shake up gun-rights folk.

And pro-birth folk.

And I would like to see God shake the foundations of those who seek domination, who seek to control and manipulate, and ultimately abuse.


But in what ways do I need to be shaken up?

Where am I stuck?

Where am I too comfortable?


I do know this!  This chaotic world

With creeping fascism in the US, and the pandemic everywhere,

This chaotic world with its racism and hate has shaken me open


As much as it hurts my heart (and gives me a stomach ache)

These last years have created an immense amount of growth

As I have been challenged to define, and re-define what I believe


About God

About others

About myself


I would love to bury my head in orthodoxy!

But God is not into orthodoxy (Jesus makes that very clear).

I would love to find comfort and security


But here I am, a reed blowing in the wind!

Thank God!

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