Saturday, June 18, 2011

The corny mystery

Do you ever have something that makes you think of God?  A lot of people associate God with nature.  People see God in the sunsets and mountains and thunderstorms.
I love thinking about God in that way, wondering about this being who is beyond my understanding.

I see God in the sunsets, mountains and thunderstorms.
But you know where I really see him/her?
You'll never guess.


When I watch squirrels, I can't help but think of God.

They remind me that God is playful.  When I see a squirrel I can't help but laugh a little at how they bound around and play.  It reminds me that God has a sense of humour, and not in a dark ironic kind of way, but in a playful joyous, giggling school girl kind of way.  Yes, I did just compare God to a giggling school girl.  God is weird...and silly...and kind of...corny.

Our image and understanding of God can be as unique as we are.  But we usually carry around a lot of baggage when it comes to thoughts on theology.  So many people are so certain of who God is, and no one can seem to agree with anyone about it.  Everybody has answers but no one seems to be asking questions anymore.

You'd think that after getting a degree in Religion and years spent contemplating and thinking about God I would have some solid answers.  The truth is the more I learn and understand about God the fewer answers I have.

One of my favourite Professors from college said that after years of education and studying theology he has fewer answers now than ever.  You see I think the more you know God, the less you know of him/her.  The more you know of God the more you realize there is no real way to know God.  In fact if God was able to be fully known, would S/He really be God?  If it were possible for me to understand and figure God out, the being that I believe created this amazingly beautiful and complex world, well...that would be an awfully disappointing experience.  I sure hope God is beyond our human understanding.

God is so mysterious.  That is a part of the beauty.  For me, it's the best part.  :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I can't count the number of times I have been told how important it is to attend a church (body of believers) as a Christian.  Growing up in a church setting and attending a bible college stressed the importance all the more.  Church is where you plug in with other believers, it's where you are challenged, where you can worship and where you find community.
I don't disagree with any of those things.  That is what it should  mean to meet and become a part of the church (which is not a building for the record, but more accurately defined as a body of believers).

But what happens when you no longer feel welcome in the body of Christ, which is the church.  When instead of feeling like a healthy extension of that body, you begin to feel more like the infected limb that the rest of the body just wants to cut off?  Or worse, and what I find more common, is when people stop taking your faith seriously because it is different than theirs.

I know I need a community where I can meet and be challenged in my faith.  I know I need a place to worship and focus on God.  I know I need a place and group of people who will support, love and encourage me in my faith.  I know my relationship with God is suffering because I do not have this connection to a community.  But where is that community?  How many churches are genuinely acting this out for all those who seek it?
As a gay christian I find it next to impossible to be comfortable in church.  The church became a place where I felt insecure, unwelcome and judged.  Now I recognize that some of this may be in my head, that perhaps some of these insecurities are solely my own to contend with, but many people share my experience, regardless of sexuality.

The church, which is supposed to represent God's unconditional love, is now experienced as a place where women feel silenced, the gay community is openly hated (or at best unequal), and broken people are told to fix themselves before entering.  One needs to experience and understand God in the same doctrinal way as that community or they may be forced to "move on" to find a place that more closely shares their belief.

What happened to diversity!? A community whose motto used to be "come as you are" has turned into "come as WE are".  Why are we so afraid of difference?  Why is there such resistance to sharing and conversing with those who believe differently?

God. is. BIG. enough. to. handle. the. conversation.