Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Singed by God

A cranky commenter asked about my ministry, "Do you have any documents singed by God?"

Dr. Freud would have smiled. And I smile, too. We who believe in God do have some nerve, to ask that the creator of the Universe show up in our lives and in our hearts...something like plugging our ipods into the 220 line behind the dryer and hoping to hear nice music. The miracle is that we are not singed more often.

Some cranky non-believers seem to think that those of us who believe in God are claiming to see God's signature unmistakably, as if God were an egotistical artist who signed his art with a huge flourish. But the best art, like the best universes, has only the most subtle signs of authorship, and it takes an art lover with some knowledge and experience to know "for sure."

God and I have had a mostly distant relationship, even on the days in which I wish it were otherwise. For better or for worse, most of my singings (singeings?) have been from living all that has been my life, and my experience has been that when those times have been the most painful, I have felt a consoling touch in my heart that I take to be God's comfort and strength. This one-to-one correspondence between catastrophe and spiritual experience makes my prayer for more spiritual experience a bit half-hearted, I'm afraid, but it adds to my serenity as I face all that my future will bring.


Bill Baar said...

UU's have their work cut out for them when Conservative Christians write statements like this below from Richard John Neuhaus in First Things,

But for me, believe isn't too important; the response to truth claims... a person's actions are though. Everybody believes. It is a question of what they believe, and why. The atheist makes a breathtaking leap of faith in believing there is no God, since he could not possibly have all the evidence pertinent to arriving at that conclusion.
The question is not whether one believes in believing or believes in religion. The question is how one responds to the truth claims proposed by traditions of thought–Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, etc.–that are conventionally called religions.

Makes so many UUs look horribly fuddy duddity sometimes.

Robin Edgar said...

I think that the word that you are looking for is "signed". . .

To "singe" something is to burn it slightly.

And yes, as a matter of fact, God is an artist who signs Her art with a huge flourish.

The Emerson Avenger said...

OK so I went and had a look at the original comment that was posted and, as I had suspected was the probably the case, it was posted by one of those cranky militant atheist "Humanists". I wonder if he was a U*U "Humanist"?

I too must wonder if his "signed" typo or spelling error was indeed an actual Freudian slip. I well recall how a fundamentalist atheist "Humanist" U*U minister once asserted that the dinosaurs were "sentenced to existence" rather than "sentenced to extinction" as he had no doubt meant to say. . .