These past couple Collective gatherings I’ve been to have been talking about the changing way that we are seeing God. Some of it has been centered around the thought that God is not up there in heaven waiting with thunderbolts and smite, but rather moving among us in the world. It makes sense for those that claim he is omnipresent. The thought was discussed at the Town Hall a bit and it came up again in our house church.
One woman said she saw God in the likes of the woman in Chicago who paid for hotel stays for the homeless when the weather was so bitterly cold.
Others have said they see him at group events like BLOOM, which stands for Bringing Life Out Of Mess. It is where women of metro Milwaukee gather for support, encouragement, food and fellowship.
There are many of us in Collective who would agree that God is perhaps easiest to see and hear in the beauty of nature. This is one that is near and dear to me. I find great peace and connection with God in the outdoors, especially in a forest of tall pines. I also get a sense of the connectivity of the whole plant, soil, animal community. All of it is dependent on everything around it. To me it is speaks loudly of intelligent design by the Greatest Of Designers. (See what I did there?)
There are some in our church, myself being one of them, who feels God in the reaching out of others from our church to help us when they sense we need it – without even asking directly for help.
And there are others that feel him in the connection with others. This is mostly an extrovert thing, but even as someone who claims to be an introvert, I have to say that hearing peoples’ stories, struggles and joys around a table of food is nothing short of cathartic for me, an empath at heart. I hurt when they hurt, laugh when they laugh.
I think you can see God just about anywhere if you look hard enough. Our house group talked about how we used to rely on clichés, godspeak (i.e. Christianese, evangelical dialect, church vernacular, call it what you will.) and things like spiritual disciplines to find God. And while none of those are bad things, they just don’t feel right to all of us. Most of us have tried them and moved on.
So we look for other ways to experience God.
It seems the ways we’re finding Him appear to be limitless.
And that’s about the coolest thing going.