Thursday, May 6, 2021


Dear All of Us,

How tall is is God?

Does he have a moustache?

For that matter, is God a he?

If not, what about the moustache?

Pretty silly for sure.

Way more silly,

even sacrilegious,

is any attempt 

to define God.

It's like trying 

to nail down the wind.

The ancient Israelites knew that.

They referred to God as

      Utterly Other

Augustine, genius that he was, 

knew that:

    "Si comprehendis, non est Deus" -

    "If you understand, it isn't God."

The Western Church, though,

has the naughty habit

of claiming to define God.

It's actually idolatry, 

a control thing,

setting up its own version of God,

fashioning attributes to its design,

then absolutizing them,

playing God itself in the process.

It's a role doomed to failure.

Even worse, it misleads and deprives

those trying to be faithful.

It scrambles and distracts 

their awareness, their

         Soul Focus.

It turns religion into 

an idea factory -

buy in and you're safe and saved -

doctrines and dogmas blocking 

mystery, awe, union. 

God is not contained in concept.

God is not contained period.

    "Behold, heaven 

     and the highest heaven

     cannot contain You, 

     how much less 

     this house I have built." 


   Temple Dedication Prayer

           I Kings 8:27


Faith isn't adherence to statement.

Faith is freefall into ineffable mystery.

    "Our awareness of God is a syntax

     of the silence in which our souls 

     mingle with the divine,

     in which the ineffable in us 

     communes with the ineffable 

     beyond us."

                Abraham Heschel

              I Asked For Wonder

                     ( p. 9 )

That "mingle" is like a three year old

snuggled up in a comfy chair 

with her grandfather

as together they read a picture book.

That happy, secure little girl

has no awareness 

of her grandfather's

favorite wine, portfolio, 

political party, blood pressure, or DNA.

Such is not a concern.

Ever so better, that little girl 

and her grandfather are together,

merged in a mutuality of loving oneness,

mingled in the mystery of shared love.

It's like that with God and us -

union not definition.

We do not connect with the head.

We do wondrously connect with the heart.

We just can't define God.

God wouldn't be God if we could.

We simple don't have 

the wattage to throw that light.

Fussing over articulations 

that attempt, and fail, to nail 

God's make up and behavior

draw us off center:

    - is God a person (or three),

      a motion, an energy, 

      an "it,"  or what?

    - does God predestine us?

    - does God grant us free will?

    - why does God permit (cause?) 

       tragedy and pain?

    - why does God allow those bad things

      to happen to "good" (??? ) people

      (like us??)?

    - how can an Almighty God be limited

      by being "humanized" in Jesus? 

   - where is the resurrected body of Jesus,

     and for the Romans, that of

     the assumed Mary?

Such and too many more dislocate 

              Soul Focus

That hurts our spiritual life

way more than 

a dislocated shoulder

hurts our body.

Like that little girl 

with her grandfather,

we do well to snuggle up with God,

experience God -

center to center,

commune ineffable to ineffable.

That's the union of free form prayer,

a life of shared presence,

a union.

Like that lovely little girl, 

we can describe 

a bit of what we experience.

Grandpa is big and he is funny.

After supper his tummy makes 

a bunch of noises.

That's what sacred scripture,

the mystics and saints, 

the traditions of our community

the study of theologians 

do for us.

They tell us "about" God.

"About" references awareness

from around, not in.

It is like a poet sharing 

the beauty of a tree

rather than trying 

to peg its essence.

They share 

the light and warmth 

of a sun ray.

They do not capture 

the essence of the sun.

Like poetry, our awareness

and experience of God

is best expressed 

by analogy and metaphor

because we are dealing 

with mystery,

the dearly ineffable.

Were I a name theologian

or churchman 

(and they were all men)

back in the middle ages,

I would have put it like this

( using Latin of course!):

    "Deus est Deus"

      "God is God"

        That's it!

Paragraph, indeed  tome, period.

God is who, how, what God is.

God is not a nut for me to crack.

God is not an ocean I can scoop into 

the bucket of my mind,

even if I'm impressed that

said bucket has a ten gallon capacity.

It just can't come within an infinity 

of containing God.

Thank God!!

So, I set the bucket aside 

as I get contained, 

as I jump in and enjoy 

one wonderful immersion,

mingled in the divine ocean.

    In the Marvelous Mystery,

     and so indebted to that 

 lovely, little three year old girl,

            John Frank


       Abraham Joshua Heschel:

A Prophetic Voice for Our Moment

       Online via YouTube

         May 13,2021

      7:00 PM (ET) USA

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      May we all get lost

      Mingled in Mystery

      See you next week.