Searching for God, Finding People

Posted on May 9, 2012

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The more I search for God, the more I find other people.

Whenever I set my heart free, like unleashing a puppy, to bound after God, it often sniffs out other people who are curious, quietly fearless, who ask bold questions, and who laugh a lot. Some of these people are people I have known for years. Some I have just met. I went to high school with a few, seminary with less than you would think, and married one.

Some of these people I have never met. They are people whose blogs I read, people whose books I read (and re-read). Some are living. Some are dead. Most are politically liberal. None are stupid or simplistic. They are the result of my searching and an aid to my continued journey.

I do not believe that God is out wandering through the world, waiting to be found. God is not playing cosmic hide-and-seek with us. God is found all around us. Perhaps not in the form that we have constructed in our theology: systematic, humorless, consistent. Perhaps not in the form to which we pray: distant, distracted, or easily manipulated. God looks like people.

These four words: God looks like people are so profound, unbelievable, and confusing that I’m not sure that they can be correct. And yet, every time I feel myself being drawn closer to God, whenever I walk through a place of dignity, hope, freedom, and love, I look around and see that I am not alone.

“To complain that man measures God by his own experience is a waste of time; man measures everything by his own experience; he has no other yardstick.”

-Dorothy Sayers, The Mind of the Maker

I am beginning to accept that, as Dorothy Sayers says, my experience is undeniable. My experience tells me that every time I open myself up to God, I find other people. It doesn’t mean this people are God. Or that I should abandon my search for the divine and focus only on people. What it means though is that maybe it is not always necessary to explain things. Maybe we waste a lot of time trying to explain things when we should be doing something more; having more experiences.

If you have an experience, a skill, an opportunity, a gift,or a relationship, don’t waste time analyzing if this is a gift from God and what is the absolute best way to use it to further the Kingdom of God. That kind of talk is too grand. Anyway all you’re really doing is stalling. (While we’re on it, don’t isolate yourself among other Christians, because all you’re doing is giving into the fear of failure.)

When I began to “search for God by any means necessary” I opened myself to whatever would come my way. As much as possible I set aside my expectations. And who am I to rebel because God didn’t show up in a mystical dream, but rather in the form of people who love and care for me? I am just happy that stopped thinking long enough to see behind the disguise and recognize the face of God.

Photo: The Arches

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