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

Thursday, March 9, 2023

I know not this God

the wind blows hard and cold

on the high desert sagebrush bend in the wind

and roads disappear beneath the misty white

of drift snow


a battered Trump flag, torn

flaps wildly and even more tattered

“don’t tread on me flag”


squatting back from the road a small church

huddles bleakly in the gusts


a lone sign asks the question

“where will you spend eternity?”


the threat is there

turn or burn

appease a wrathful God, or pay the price

get in line

believe the right thing

say the right thing

be against “those people” destroying our country

or else


they grip my heart

those words

and I ponder as the miles stretch on

and the wind continues to blow.


why does my soul hurt?


I have experienced the Sacred

I have sensed a presence

seen miracles

I have been comforted with loved ones die

and been lifted up when I have fallen


I have seen Sacred open new doors

when old doors close

I have felt grace


I know God as love

as One who comes to heal and restore

to fill me to overflow with

hope, peace, joy, and love


I do not know this grim God

who looms and threatens


yes, Sacred impels me to live

as a sacred child

yes, the presence of love compels me to

love, give, forgive

to seek to do no harm

to work for reconciliation


no, Sacred does not leave me untouched

and unchanged


but this?


another town looms

another church

another sign

“Everyone will have to talk to God in the end”

and the chill returns


Perhaps everyone will GET to talk to God in the end

but what kind of God, what kind of presence or reality will they meet?

will we meet?

will I meet?


I believe God is love,

and so this fear-based faith oppresses me

and I wonder,

what does having a God who is angry, perhaps cruel,

for there is nothing so cruel as condemning a vast majority of human creatures

to eternal torment,

what does having a retributive God who is controlling and retributive

do to the human soul?


perhaps, perhaps

such a god creates angry, retributive, controlling, cruel people?

or perhaps fearful people, who for whatever reason, cannot trust

cannot accept love and grace

create an angry, retributive, controlling, cruel God?


I do not know

but I do know this

the God I know is love

is kind

is comforting

and works to heal and guide


and in love

simply asks for love returned

and love shared


where will I spend eternity?

I believe I will be home

where I belong

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