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

Sunday, March 24, 2024

God! Are you there?

When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it!” —Genesis 28:16


The Bible I set out to learn and love rewarded me with another way of approaching God, a way that trusts the union of spirit and flesh as much as it trusts the world to be a place of encounter with God…. People encounter God under shady oak trees, on riverbanks, at the tops of mountains, and in long stretches of barren wilderness. God shows up in whirlwinds, starry skies, burning bushes, and perfect strangers. When people want to know more about God, the son of God tells them to pay attention to the lilies of the field and the birds of the air, to women kneading bread and workers lining up for their pay….


According to the Talmud, every blade of grass has its own angel bending over it, whispering, “Grow, grow.”  How does one learn to see and hear such angels?

          Barbara Brown Taylor (quoted by the Center for Action and Contemplation)




Are you there?

I wonder sometimes

When my body hurts

And my eyes fail


I wonder sometimes

When I hear the disabled ridiculed

And people laugh

When I hear hate spewed

And people cheer

When I watch as masses, driven by resentment

Are fueled by a desire dominance


I wonder sometimes as I watch us

Destroy the planet for profit

And see dying and starving children

The flotsam of war


O God!

My heart fails within me

My feet stumble

As I see the prosperity of the wicked.


I know there is nothing new under the sun

We have seen this before

The words of an ancient Psalmist echo in my soul

As he laments human arrogance


“Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence.

  From their callous hearts comes iniquity; their evil imaginations have no limits.

  They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance, they threaten oppression.

  Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.”

          (Psalm 73)


Where are you, God?

Why do you not set things right!?

Why do you not bring down the mighty and lift up the poor?

Are you in this place?


Surely, you are in this place.

Help me to know it.


Help me to see you, God of love

In the brilliant reds of the sunrise

In the majesty of the mountains

In the laughing voices of the streams


Help me to see you, Lord,

In the eagle that flies

And the deer that wanders

In creatures large and small


Help me to see you in the little things

In that act of kindness

That kind word

That smile, that laugh

That comes


I need glimmers of your presence Lord,

Help me to see you

Even where it is hardest to see you

In those human creatures who strive and toil

Love and hate

Destroy and heal


We are so confusing, O Sacred

So confused


Help me to see you, lord, in myself

And in all those others

In whom your image is badly blurred

May I see and hear the angels


Softly whispering

You are loved

You are loved
















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