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Locating God

Posted by Simon Parke, 02 March 2021, 2.03pm

In locating God, we may need something other than the traditional grammar of success.

So, we’ll not locate God in statistics of religious attendance, up or down; for it is well known Hitler could draw a good crowd. And Buddha and Jesus died almost alone.

Neither will we locate God in the public utterances of religious leaders; history simply will not allow and may laugh with impolite disdain at all who attempt it.

And we’ll not locate God in morality which is a tired cultural animal possessing a thousand expressions and an ally in Order and Judgement – but with no known links to the divine.

We’ll not even locate God in community support, in the running of foodbanks or clubs, tempting though it is; for while altruism asks questions of the godless squad, in the human heart, it is too mixed a metal to be proof.

Instead, we give up the argument, we give up the fight – and glimpse God, like smoke in the wind, like lining between joints, in all things; in the interstices of life between vulnerability’s cry and creation’s green joy.

In the mending of life; in the pilgrimage from denial, we find footprints; and rumours in the air of the numinous pulse, this irreducible presence.

Clothe it and the clothes won’t fit; the cloth will instantly rip and burn.

Here we cross a threshold, we trespass on holy land; and in our hearts, away from scrutiny and hurt, know it for the first time. 

A grammar of success difficult to speak of.

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