I was in the midst of reading Elizabeth A. Johnson’s mind-blowing book Quest for the Living God, when I heard the news: Scientists now say there may be billions of Earths in the universe. Billions! When I think of a God who made all that, who exists everywhere these Earths exist — fully present in a billion places and in the hearts and minds of billions and billions of people (for I am certain that each and every Earth contains people who know and worship God)…I am more sure than ever that my knowledge of God is a tattered rag of a thing, the frayed hem of a wondrous cloth that spreads farther than anyone can imagine. Which begs the question: What am I doing here?

Not here as in Earth, per se, but here on this blog — why am I writing about God when my knowledge and experience of God is so small, so pathetic? That’s where Johnson’s book comes in. She likens our expressions of God to a finger pointing at the moon: The moon is not the finger, just as our expressions of God are not God. In fact, they will always be wrong. But perhaps, just perhaps, they might point the way to God, the way an analogy or a metaphor or a simile works in our everyday language.

So that’s what I’m doing. I’m pointing at the moon. Maybe somewhere in my words someone will catch a glimpse of the real moon, the real God. Or maybe I’m pointing at Mars by mistake. Still, a compulsion obliges me to point. I will use words like love, like acceptance, like understanding. I will hope that they land, meteor-like, in the general vicinity of what is unfathomable.

Recently our pastor warned us about speaking as Catholics about gay marriage. We must love the sinner but hate the sin, he said. We must understand that gay marriage can never be acceptable to Catholics. The bishop of Detroit went further: He demands that Catholics who support gay marriage not participate in the sacrament of the Eucharist because they are hypocrites.

To them I say: Love. Acceptance. Understanding. I also say this — I will not be quiet. My words about what I believe about God, namely that God loves and accepts all people and would never create them to love in vain, never shun anything done in love, may not be the right words. My finger may not accurately point the way. But maybe it does. And if I can guide one person to look in the right direction, then, well, it’s all been worth it. Look up in the sky, people! God is love!

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