Verse of the Day: “In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Psalm 56:4
More and more I love the bible for the way in which anything I wish to find I can. Because reading this verse in isolation leaves me with a “YAY ME! I HAVE GOD!” And then reading it in the context of another (one) verse – this verse:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3 …
Leaves me with a question.
If I am in a “YAY ME!” frame of mind (full of “spirit”) – in a “What can mere mortals do to me?” spirit of mind… what might I (a mere mortal) be doing to my fellow mere mortals? How might I be so
full of myself full of spirit that I hear my own wellbeing – my own “I’m OK – I have God” at the expense of not hearing another mere mortal’s pain hidden behind the mask we all wear with each other? How might my “It’s OK – God is great!” run roughshod over another’s questions and fears? How might my fullness of humble spirit (obviously) appear arrogant and overbearing to another mere mortal poor in spirit?
I have met those people. I have been those people. Both the hurting and the arrogant.
Maybe that is why my God has morphed into GSHJ. A personal God. A small God. An infinite God. A God who does not desire my worship. A God who does not desire my definition. A God who does not care for my distance in praise and fear. Just an everyday God who lives an everyday life with me. An everyday God not much different from me. Wants the best for those we love. Wants the best for those who are lost. Wants the best for those who are alone. Wants the best for those who are so full up on god they have lost sight of God. A God not of any one religion or faith. A God not of our control and “correctness”. Just an everyday God – like the sun coming up and going down – the rain falling or not – the air we breathe – the thoughts we don’t even realise we have.
A gentle God. A God who does not discriminate as we prefer. A loving God. A God who loves without the conditions we insist. An always God. A God for whom time is irrelevant unlike our fixation. A changing God. A God for whom my being a “chameleon of belief” as I walk my journey through life matters not. A constant God. A God who is – I think he has to be – above all this petty squabbling we seem to need so much …
This slice and dice of “sacred texts” – the drive-by verse-offs to prove me right and you wrong – this “correctness” we have made a new religion – this constricted plurality of thought … of right or sin … white or sin … hetero or sin … worship or sin … service or sin … poverty or sin … gathering together or sin … correctness or sin …
I don’t need the bible to be “inerrant and infallible”.
The bible contains so many opposites and ambiguities that I can pick and choose whichever bits make me “inerrant and infallible”. Indeed – if I need the bible to be inerrant and infallible – how can I not be?
And that – I think – is not the purpose of this wonderful set of words. I think it is not the purpose of any set of wonderful words in any “sacred text” of any age and time. I don’t wish to be “correct”.
I desire to be gentle with myself, with you, and with GSHJ.
I think more and more we have created God in our likeness and not the other way around. I think that creation is the most magnificent and wonderful creation ever. And I think we cannot rest with the simplicity of wonder, the magnitude of connection with every living thing, with the challenge of treating each we meet (and those we haven’t yet) with the same gentleness as this creation of kindness. I think we prefer to let “others” do that for us. And in that we miss the point completely.
And then we need the bible to be our
inerrant and infallible validation for our choices – one carefully selected and biblically correct verse at a time.