Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The God I Know

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There was a moment the other day, after I had written Our Village when I decided to close down the comments on that post. Some times the things I write are pretty sacred to me, and I have to be careful about allowing comments at the protection of my experience. Reading comments in a raw spot can lead me to think thoughts that aren't my own.

But one comment I read before closing comments stayed with me for awhile, and I want to respond briefly and offer a short book suggestion. The comment was:

Where was God when all of this abuse occurred?

Obviously, I don't know where God was when these girls were hurt, but I can tell you what my heart believes.

I believe God was right there with them. Hurting, crying, screaming. I believe the heavens shake and weep when these things happen. I believe God requires justice for those who hurt children, and if our systems fail to extract exact justice from these individuals (and they do) I believe there will be continuing remission in the next life. I believe God absolutely hurts when we hurt, physically hurts, emotionally hurts. We are connected to God very intimately, whether we know it or not. Just as I hurt when my children hurt, so do my heavenly parents.

That's what my heart tells me because that's what I've felt in my own life.

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Shortly after my miscarriage, while I was being patient with my body in bed, I finished reading The God Who Weeps by Terryl and Fiona Givens. It's philosophical, logical and gorgeously written journey into the deepest parts of Mormonism and I recommend everyone (Mormon or not) read it. I gained sweeping new views of God and fresh perspectives on the nature of deity while reading this book. It took me months to soak it all in. I had to take it slow. The prose is perfection and the literary quotes are poetic and meaningful. It is perhaps the most important book I have ever read about God (outside of the authorized cannon, of course) and I passed it on to Chup to devour. He is also loving it.

I have been a fan of Terryl's work for a long time. Once we were honored to have him speak in the Green Room (that link is to a post I just reread and appreciated, that rarely happens, good day!). I remember Terryl talking about believing in a God who weeps and hurts and I remember the relief this idea caused me. We are not alone.

We are never alone.