Wednesday, May 15, 2019

God's dwelling place...

"Where can you see God dwelling around you as you enter into prayer now?"
Pray-As-You-Go, 5/15/19

Settling into prayer this morning I glanced around for where I could see God in my surroundings. Certainly God dwells in the dear, old dog at my feet, wiggling himself into position so that my foot is always touching him. There are the Mother's Day flowers, still beautiful; God's love reflected in the love of my kids. There's the glorious tree outside, so close I can touch its leaves from my third floor balcony. God dwells in the tree, but also in the life supported in the tree--the squirrels, birds--all who call the tree home. Every living thing pulses with the life-blood of God. God breathed life into all of creation, which should make it really hard to not love it all, shouldn't it? I know that in a few hours I will go to school, where God dwells in each little student and each staff person, whether they are aware of it or not. I know it was God who drew me to that school, and I know that God is vibrantly alive there, even as our zeal is waning with only days left in the school year. Anywhere there is love and created life, there is God and God is indwelling. And finally, there is God in my very own heartbeat and my own breathing in and out. God is indwelling in me, too, which sometimes I find too good to be true. Look around you right now. Where is God dwelling around you this spring day? Love, heidi

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Images of God...

"If I can expand my images of God to include thinking of God as Father, Mother, Son, Jesus, Shepherd, and Holy Spirit at my side like a guardian angel, I will have a richer appreciation of God."
The Little White Book, May 12, 2019

One of the first things we studied in the Spiritual Direction program I took was our image or images of God. Our images of God may reflect how we are raised in faith, or they may challenge how we were raised. We may see God as a stern judge, taking note of every wrong we do. We may think of God as a Santa Claus-type, gifting us with our list of desires, based on our naughty or nice-ness. We may have had difficult authority figures in our lives who make it hard for us to picture a loving, caring God we are to call Father. Whatever our image of God growing up, it is helpful, as we grow, to expand our imaginations and let God out of the box we may have put God in. If we  ever think we have God figured out we need to prepare to be surprised, for God is un-figure-outable. Can we think of God as a loving Mother-type? The book and movie, "The Shack" may have expanded us a bit that way with the beautiful portrayal of God as a woman called "Papa." Can we expand our image of God as represented in creation? Can we image God in a beautiful sunset or a field of wildflowers? If we limit our encounters with God to only a few places and images we are seriously selling God short. God is much bigger than we can imagine, and the bigger we can expand our image of God will open up many more ways we can encounter God each day. If we believe God's spirit is in every single thing, we can encounter God all day long! Love, heidi