Sunday, May 23, 2010


This post deals with God.  Most of you know I have a very strong belief in God but am not very enamored of organized religion.  I almost never talk about God stuff because, frankly, I don't want to sound like the religious nut jobs that are constantly in the news, pointing to God as definitive rationale for their hatred, ignorance, bigotry and petty mean-spiritedness.  That has NOTHING to do with the God I know. Those people do not speak for me.

I am in a great deal of pain. I have a very messed up foot which gives me a great deal of pain from time to time and this is one of those times. It's excruciating. I can barely hear myself think.

Years ago, I heard a sermon by Tim Cook, who is the minister of the Church of Conscious Harmony in Austin. (I know, I know--the name. But there is nothing implied. It is a church dedicated to conscious living--MINDFUL LIVING. And the minister is simply the best extemporaneous speaker I have ever heard.) In this sermon, Father Cook spoke about how St. Teresa said, "Oh, how I love my suffering for it brings me so much closer to God." He preached an entire sermon about the idea of suffering bringing us so much closer to God.

I didn't "get" it.

I bought a cassette of the sermon and I played it over and over and over again in my car.

And I still didn't get it.

I still don't get it.

Mostly, I connect the most with God through my joy.  I feel the closest to my Creator when I am joyful because I think it's the way we could feel all the time if we had an unbroken awareness of God.  It feels like a taste of heaven. It feels like what I could feel like all the time if I wasn't so broken.

I'm going to think about that today.  And I'm going to think about how I can find my God even in this enormous pain. What am I supposed to be learning? 

Also, I feel like I might do a little crying.  (It really hurts.)

(I am leaving the comments open but this is not the place to debate religion, to point out the error of my ways, nor to demean others for having differing views.)


  1. One of my college roommates (!) was very apt to thank her painful experiences for bringing her closer to God. I didn't understand it either. One thing I know about pain, physical pain, is that it forces me to slow down. And maybe for some this is an opportunity to see beauty and divinity where they might not have. May you be blessed by your search.

  2. I'm so sorry. It is not my place to judge what you may need. But I hope you receive it, and may you find some relief from the pain.

  3. I think maybe I sounded more defensive and crabby than I intended in this post. I'm sorry. You guys are great.

  4. I read in an Oprah Magazine that she stopped going to her church after a sermon about God being a jealous God. She wondered what God had to be jealous of? I agree that many of these ideas are obviously from the minds of men - hope you feel better soon...

  5. I think the reason "suffering" brings you closer to God is because that's when you pray most desperately. The foundation of my belief in God is my own experiences of instant answers to deperate prayers. (And one about a cat, too!)