Discovering the God Within

“Who is this God who you claim loves you? What makes you think that this

almighty, all powerful Creator knows your name? What kind of religious nut are you to swallow this stuff about a personal God who not only cares about us and listens to our prayers but LOVES us?”

No, those are not the words of an acquaintance of mine. That’s what our modern culture is saying to me but In more politically correct words. Cut to the chase, they are really saying “You don’t still believe in all that crap do you?”

I plead guilty. I am that kind of nut or rather, I aspire to be. I want to look at God through the eyes of faith and see Him as much more than just a “higher power.” or the ” man upstairs” or some benign figure “up there” who I call on when I am in trouble or need help in passing an exam or getting a job.

The God I want in my life is the same one that inspired heroes like Martin Luther King or Gandhi or Nelson Mandela or Mother Teresa to bring light to our world, the God who lives in every husband who stands by his dying wife and every young man or woman who is willing to die for his country. It is this kind of living God that I want to believe in and carry in my heart.

The God who I want to energize me is not Catholic or Baptist or Muslim.

He/she may speak to me on Sunday morning church but I am just as likely to see the Divine touch in a dragon fly or a towering Redwood tree or in the cry of a newborn infant.

No denomination, no racial group has dibs on God. The voice I try to listen to is pretty clear about His desire to include all of us under the umbrella of his love. We are all welcome to his table. His is a universal love.

Many years ago I went to Japan as a missionary. I thought my calling was

to convert the Japanese people to Christianity I wanted to make the Japanese people Christian, not realizing that before I even existed He had already showered them with his love.All I was really called to was to love the Japanese.

I want to carry in my soul that lesson I learned in my missionary days. I want to see the presence of God in the poor and the homeless and the refugee. Flawed as I am (My friends would agree. “Yea, he is flawed all right”) I realize that who I am and who I want to be are still poles apart..

But I have come to understand that my faults or yours don’t make any difference to this tremendous lover This God loves me still and all of humankind with me. My God is much more than a “higher power” remote an

So yes I am the kind of nut who not only believes in God but adores Him under the appearance of bread in the Eucharist and under the appearance of the homeless guy on the street corner, and the drug addict or the teenage girl struggling with her sexual identity.

Years ago folks of my generation used to tell one another, “Don’t worry. God’s in His heaven; all’s right with the world.” I don’t think that way anymore. God is not in his heaven. He is here among us, within us. And that makes all the difference.