Everywhere

There are many ways to see the Scriptures, many themes, many narratives. Is it poetry? History? Metaphor? Instruction? Of course, the answer to the question, ‘which is it?’ is Yes. But, today, I’m sitting here on my loveseat, looking outside at flurries in late April, taking the perspective that it is the story of an amazing, unpredictable God holding our hands and leading us forward, away from the tiny, constricting idea of God we have created.
The prophet Ezekiel received his vision, communicating with God ON THE SHORES OF BABYLON(!!!), the last place in the world that God should be found.
Jacob had his dream in the middle of the desert, waking up, saying, “God is in this place and I did not know.”
The entire book of Jonah is confusing – everything you think should happen, doesn’t. Every person you think should be doing the right thing, doesn’t. And every person who should not do the right thing, does.
Jesus eats with people He shouldn’t, heals people He shouldn’t, touches people He shouldn’t. He loved everyone – which nobody should ever do – until it killed Him.
These things don’t make sense. As soon as we know what God wants, who God wants, and where God is, we are shown that our prideful understanding is, frustratingly, inadequate.
We started this community with that in mind. In fact, it is this very perspective that began my personal journey from atheism to a relationship with Jesus. (I was going to write, ‘from atheism to faith,’ but they are, obviously, both faith, so that phrase was silly and ignorant and needed to be changed.) So, our mission is, not to take God anywhere, but to open eyes to the God who is already there, loving you with the same passion He loves everyone, regardless of gender, geography, or anything else that looks to all the world like a wall.
So, I took stances against religion, church, and Christian art – all institutions that imply that God is exclusively there (and not at work, the gym, the movie theater, or pop radio). My business was to swing a sledgehammer at any division of sacred v. secular. God is everywhere – not just in your temple, I shouted, loving everyone – not just your clique.
And, that’s right.
But a strange thing happened. In my zeal to let God out of institutions that limited His size, scope and intent, I was rebuilding those walls right where they were, behind Him, deciding that He would not be in those places or groups. But, of course, there is no ‘behind’ God. Surprisingly, everywhere is, actually, everywhere. I am Jacob – God has been in this place all along, and I did not know. My small perspective is keeping me from hearing His voice in Jerusalem, as well as in Babylon. And, as He has been doing since forever, He covers me in a loving embrace, holds my shaking hands, walks next to me, and blows my mind wide open.

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