Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The God of the Quiet Place

I found myself leaving this comment on a link in Christine Bakke's blog, and felt it was worth leaving here as well:

I can remember sitting in 5th grade religion class and hearing my teacher explain that just about everybody was going to go to Hell. And I remember thinking, "that just can't be right." and I started doodling in my notebook my idea of the "path to heaven" which looked like a star, radiating paths of light. That teacher and I never did really get along well.

But I had a quiet place to just go and listen, and it seemed to me that the God I found in the quiet place was a better God than the one that my school was trying to drum into me. So I wound up with a really wierd religious journey, but I also got the God of the quiet place and She's good enough for me.

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Blogger M said...

I wanted to thank you for your comment. Sorry about my delay - I've been out of town.

Having time to be alone with God is, I think, both the most important and the most difficult thing we can do. It's easy, really, to get everyone else's opinions about God, what they think is the truth, etc. But it's really hard to just be alone and discover things on a personal basis. I think what you said is so true and so very essential.

4/14/2007 9:03 AM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

Welcome, M.

Well, and it's something that's so very much discouraged. We are told to listen to others, that someone else, particularly a priest or a minister, can tell us about God. And yet, what special access does one person have over another? I know I have felt God moving in me, and must believe that God can so move in anyone.

4/14/2007 2:07 PM  
Blogger Don said...

I find God or at least I think I do in all the quiet places. I can't describe God nor do I really want to, but I think I can venture that God loves everyone and everything because this force we call God, created it all. Even the stuff that we call "man-made" has the mark of God on it. Who made man? I love your writing and I'm glad you wrote about this. Peace.:-)Don

4/14/2007 8:33 PM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

Thank you, Don. Not only does the quote from Anne Lamont that M started her post with: "You can tell you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do." say a lot about this, but so does a bit from Terry Pratchett in his novel Monstrous Regiment. One young woman in the main character's small band of soldiers is a mystic who becomes possessed by the spirit that folks have been praying to, and when someone asked why she was talking to the mystic, the spirit replied that the mystic had been the only one listening.

Our modern culture discourages us from listening, lest we be overwhelmed, bombarded with sensation. There are certain stores I know better than to even enter - loud, bright, filled with distracting ads and Too Much. Ads for vacationing in rural Pennsylvania do not emphasize the peace and quiet to be found there, but rather the opportunity for off-roading.

The Hebrew word for the Imminent Presence is Shekhina, a feminine noun, and that resonates with me, which is why I've taken to using the feminine pronoun, but also I think that too many forget that the first judgement on creation was that it is good. We are all called to make it even better, but how can we know what to do if we're not listening to our partners in creation, both divine and human?

4/15/2007 5:44 AM  
Blogger Don said...

What you wrote is once again very insightful and I'm grateful. I've written some more on http://countrycontemplative.wordpress.com and linked back to your original post. Peace.

4/15/2007 6:25 AM  

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