How Does God Flow Through my Life? Photo: Joy in the River.
I like to think of God as water. Or electricity. When God is working through us, He flows like water, like a current. Think of Moses striking the rock at the command of God, and the water pouring out to give drink to thousands, or Jesus turning in a crowd because he felt a surge of energy shoot out of him when the bleeding woman touched his robe and instantly received healing.
This is what God can do.
We can try to dam up the water. We can try to capture the electricity or channel it for our own purposes. But we cannot stop the flow of God. It will break through. Like a writer trying to control the words that come to me, I may succeed or fail in delivering the “essence” of the Word, the true Spirit of the message. If I remove myself and let myself go, I may be able to communicate the Spirit of God unimpeded. But this is unlikely. I am still human.
But sometimes, more than my human frailty comes through, the essence of God, the Spirit, the brilliance, like lightning that strikes and surprises, that lights up the night sky and crackles with clarity and power. Or the rush of water when a boulder or block is removed, how the mysterious water molecules come together as one force, moving along in one direction, with gravity pulling it to its rightful destination. This too is the power of God.
As a writer, as a speaker, as a fallible human being, I aim to let go. I cannot eliminate entirely how my mind works, my memories, my heart’s desires and my soul’s knowing. Perhaps God knows this, too. Perhaps God chooses where to strike and when to release the power of water with the right energy, force and words that deliver the sounds only God can make.
How can I tell if it is God or myself? Like any fallible human looking in wonder at the night sky with the first crack of thunder, or standing in awe under a waterfall far beyond its own nature: we just feel it in our blood and bones. We don’t move it, it moves us. It changes us. It transforms us. It delivers us what we most need.
God is that force, that miracle.
We lie in wait for God to strike, to deliver, to speak.
We are waiting.
While I was lamenting, God answered my prayer.
I am burning to recite you, repeat you, praise you. I am eager to learn from you, see you, feel you, and share you. Come to me, oh Lord, the one true One, the One of All. No one is like you, no other voice, though you shatter our illusions endlessly with your riddles. Barricades block your knowledge because people are talking, arguing about who you are – no, what you are, or what you said or did not say, so long ago. But what do you say now? And with whom do you walk? Who is walking with you now? Is anybody listening anymore?
You must be a lonely God, for the world is in confusion, as it always has been. But so much worse from our perspective, because we see the history and the present, and we seem to think we can tell the future, too! Deliver us, oh Lord, from our fantasies of what we think is best, what we think we know, and what we are afraid of. Let us know what you see, what you know, what you will allow, and what you will not. What are the boundaries of your Love, Lord, your patience?
It must be cold where you are, so far from the light of the world that you left here. This distant hum of your presence seems like an echo from another time and place – we keep reminiscing, dreaming even, repeating, but we don’t know anymore. We have lost connection. We are searching in the wrong places. We are repeating phrases. We don’t know how to call you. To listen. To be silent.
But we are still asking. At least I am. Maybe I am a lonely prophet. A lonely teacher. A remote speaker. I have no phrases, I don’t know any that I could recite. Except for the Lord’s Prayer. I only converse with you day and night. I hear only myself at times, and feel your silent presence, your smile, your humour, your patience, and your anger. Only you are justified, I am not. My passion is selfish; it sees no winners. Your anger knows the truth, and likes it. It does not tolerate mass hysteria, ignorance, lust, games, politics. What is your politics except for forgiveness? And justice? Our world knows no truth, that is yours. We think we know, but we do not.
Now I am speaking again. I must be silent.
Now I am writing, I must be waiting.
Surely you will break open, and create a deluge, not of suffering but of sense. Of recompense. Of presence. Your voice will be heard. Justice will be given. Light will come again. And again. And again. World without end.
Ah, phrases. They are beautiful, comforting, they remind me of you. They lull me to sleep when I am stirring and restless. They awaken me when I am dull and fruitless. Your mind gives me light to live by, a friend to my soul. I am never alone in your presence. And I am never not in your presence. You are about me and knocking on my door. You reside in my heart, a soft cupboard where I keep precious ingredients that will not spoil. I access you regularly. You are salt and green oil. My roof is your head under which I lay down. I cast off all cares in your smell. Your incense burns brightly in my soul. It never goes out – the wick does not bend, the smoke fills me with delight. I skip when I should be shrinking in fear; I feel your weight upon my hand, for you are beside me. My steps echo your thoughts, and the branches spill out your seed everywhere. There is nothing I cannot glimpse your majesty. My breath touches the tip of the garden and falls back to the ocean, it swells to the sky and dips down like a sea bird. I am ocean. You are sky. We blend well together. One day I will rise to meet you, lay like an unending cloud, or dissipate and melt before the sea-born sky. Licking away every last pebble from my eye. It has been so long since I have seen you eye to eye. The dark thunder split the sky and caused me to fold into darkness, holding myself hostage in sleeping and wilderness. I walked 10,000 miles, I slept under a rock, and a sea bird lifted the crumbs from my hands and fed me personally.
Elijah was sleeping with me, I was dreaming of him, as I lay there, a traveller like him, frightened by my own darkness and forgetfulness.
Awaken! The boat is ready. Come sailing. Why are you living like a traveller, like an alien? Why are you sleeping under a rock when God gave you the sky? And land creatures to roam on. Your bones are breaking under the thick of your mind. Release them, the prisoners you held captive. Those little minions you gave jobs and won’t let go: I must run, I must take, I must bury, I must fake. Let them go!
I break all the contracts you have made before the end of time. You have not done well for yourselves down there all alone. You really have punished yourselves remarkably. It doesn’t matter what your father’s father’s father did. Come back to me, your true Father. Come back to your Father’s house, ascend the stairs, it has been too long. You have grown old in waiting and forgetfulness. I will place my hand on your shoulder, kiss your cheek and cry, weep. It has been too long. Surely, you have not wanted to be away from me for this long?