Throughout my life, I have had a continuous journey of faith. I did not begin my faith journey in Christianity. In fact, I was born into a Non-religious family whose only comments of faith or God came from cultural references of what God supposedly told humans never to do, and how Karma was a bitch that would get you back when you were bad. Funny, huh? I’m grateful for this in a way, though, because it allowed me to find my own way to God.
My road was not laid before me, nor was it lying there in an inviting way. I feel that I was thrown on to my path. You see, when I was around the age of 7 or 8, I lost my paternal grandmother–my best friend. This woman was the apple of my eye, the person that saw the most light in me and in whom I saw the most love. She was a comfort in my harsh and sometimes dark world. She was my everything, and one day she was just gone. I had no idea what death truly was until this point in my life. All I knew was that my grandmother was here, and then she was lying in a casket in the front of the room, and I would never actually see her again. This broke me–in fact, it’s something I deal with to this day (especially when I lose people who are close to me). So where did I turn now that I felt I lost my identity? Where can I find answers to these things I have heard about in passing–heaven, ghosts, next lives? Well, pretty much since I was born I was obsessed with witches. I loved them in every movie there was, I played them, I quoted them; they were my life. So, I turned to Wicca. I learned one day that there are people who identify as witches in this world, and I could actually be one! My heart sprung to life knowing this, and I took my first step on my faith journey. In Wicca, I learned about deities, the earth and its cycles, meditation, prayer, and so many other spiritual concepts. As the years went on, I began exploring other religions–Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity. This led me to be the person I am today.
So why do I mention this rather abbreviated spiritual biography? Because these experiences have taught me about who God is and where he can be found. My image of God has changed as me and my faith have developed over time. The same being that I prayed to as a Wiccan, the same being that I felt moving in my spirit as a Muslim, is the same being that I proclaim in Jesus today. God, as I’ve experience him/her, transcends all of these titles that we put on faith traditions–titles that are supposed to be used to give us a way of identifying with other people, not a way of identifying God. God, the creator of this vast, beautiful, diverse universe, is a vast, beautiful and diverse God. He/She takes the shape of you and me, and he/she transcends any shape or characteristic that we can imagine. That’s the beauty of God. Sometimes, I think we think of God as being like water–transparent and taking the form of it’s container. But God doesn’t take the form of our religious containers, we are called to take the shape of the uncontainable God.
You see, God is not binary. We oversimplify things to be black and white so that we can have a sense of control, of undertsanding in this world. But God will never be understood. In fact, in my tradition, Jesus doesn’t tell us who God is in conrete terms or laws. Jesus shows us who God is through stories and metaphors. This God, that can only begin to be understood through abstract stories and poetry is the God that I know deep within my heart. He/She moves in my spirit, and calls me out of my tragic, seemingly organized, angry, and unresistingly sinful self to the radical love of another–another who sees the same God differently; another who calls God by a different name; another who walks the path that this same God has called them to, but is nevertheless different from my own path. In my own faith, this is also the beauty of Jesus, because Jesus, to me, embodied God in a uniquely human way–in the way I am called to follow in example.
We, too, as beings made in the image of God, are called to transcend our humanity–our limitations, our racisms, our cultural biases, our own views of gender and sexuality. We are reflections of this invisible God, and our behaviors in this world should reflect that holy mystery. God isn’t what I make him/her, and my faith is never about what I make him/her. My faith journey, my own personal call and invitation into the heart of God and the other, is about what this beautiful, transcendant, and radically loving God is making me. With each prayer, with each moment spent seeking God in contemplation and other spiritual practices, I am being steeped more and more into this amazing God, with the hope of knowing him/her more and more as I walk through life.
I invite you, as well as my own soul, to start to seek God in his/her fullness–not to limit God, or what God can do. Let us seek the mystery that calls us forward in love, and allow that love so to re-form our hearts and minds that we can begin to live into our divine image ever more.