It's been a couple weeks since I've written anything. Luckily it's not like I'm a weekly newspaper columnist, or I'd be fired. Plus, no respectable newspaper would publish this stuff anyway. I'm kind of new at this blogging stuff and don't know if I will keep it up forever, but once in a while I'll still try to post something. I've been busy with various other projects, too- plus, it's summer. Too nice out to sit indoors and type all day.
So... anyway, When you hear people say, "I believe in God" or "I am a Christian" then so often, people roll their eyes.
I can't say I blame them. Sadly, these days, when you say you are a Christian and a God-Believer, people immediately assume all sorts of things: "You must be against such and such, then." "You must be against sex, hate gays, vote Republican, and think women (and sometimes, minorities too) should know their place."
But yet, that does not describe me at all!
It's like, so many of the most vocal self-proclaimed "Christians" often are against the very things Jesus preached about. And that's important to remember. These people who claim to be talking about God, are NOT God themselves, any more than I am.
Why do I feel the way I do? I'll try to explain.
When I am in the mountains, by a high mountain lake, pristine, rocky and beautiful, with tiny wildflowers blooming, I feel a presence of light and joy, and am grateful for this glimpse of heavenly perfection.
I remember as a kid, in the winter, when it was dark, rainy and cold out, coming home and being greeted by my parents at the door, walking into a warm and dry house to sit next to the fire. And feeling, this is what being with God is like. It's like, coming home to a welcoming and loving place after being tired, hungry and cold.
It's like seeing the smile, the sparkle in Her eyes, of the woman I love. Making her happy and feeling her happiness.
I remember being a neighborhood volunteer; we had a grant from a local organization that provided us free burgers, food and ice cream, and putting on a free barbecue in the courtyard of these low income apartments with refugees from all over the world. In addition to games and entertainment we put on for them. Kids of all races, laughing, squealing with joy, and seeing the smiles on their faces light up when we served them their free ice cream.
It's seeing the perfection in a tiny snowflake, or the huge glassy beauty of a large perfect quartz crystal mined in Brazil sitting in a museum, and wondering at the perfect architecture that created them.
It's feeling signs of hope in trying times. The rainbow outside of my office window that day in March of 2020, the last time I would look out of that office window for more than a year. Perhaps one of the darkest years most of us have experienced in our whole collective lives.
Being comforted in dark times, and providing hope and comfort to others.
These things are all manifestations of God.
Sadly, knowing what the absence of God is has also driven me closer to Him over the years. I don't want to go into it too much, but any time there is pain, fear, hatred, darkness, oppression and injustice, there is an absence of God.
People who preach that homosexuals should be put to death- that is an absence of God. Those who claim to be "Faithful Christians" but yet support environmental destruction, unchecked greed and power, and contempt for minorities or the poor- that is an absence of God. Those who have utterly no compassion for women, and say a young girl must carry their rapist's baby to term, and while we're at it, let's slash health care for single mothers too- that too is an absence of God. Despite what they may call themselves.
And whether you believe His death meant anything more than just some rabble-rouser was executed by the government of the time: The fact that he believed that His death would open the door for all of us to reach these higher planes, to these dimensions of infinite light and joy, secure from fear and darkness, or people who- even the best of us- aren't always perfect a hundred percent of the time- that to me is powerful. So I cling to that.
Because I've seen reflections of those dimensions here, and I've tried, not always successfully, (and man have I sometimes struggled,) but I've tried to be a reflection of that myself.
I hope this hasn't come across as some kind of religious rant. I don't mean it to be. Partly I'm writing this because lately, I've seen so much darkness in this world in the guise of "religion," and I don't believe God himself ever wanted it to be that way. I want to believe in light, joy, and a welcoming place to come home to, after being tired on a cold, dark winter night.