God Is Not Only in the Easy Places
by Barbara Crafton

Ubi caritas et amor, ibi Deus est.
Where charity and love are, there is God.

Not only where everybody thinks the same thing.

God is not only where everything makes sense. Some of the most important things in this life don't make much sense.

Not only where everybody is right.

Not only where everybody knows everything and there are never any doubts.

God is not only where everybody follows the rules.

God is not only where nothing changes. There is no place on earth where nothing changes.

God is in all those easy places. But not only there.

God is in places maps don't show -- God knows where they are. God is in things we've never seen -- God has seen them before they came to be. God knows things we can't imagine, understands that which is beyond us. Escapes from any box in which we try to confine Him. Including the one labeled "Him." "Her" can't hold God, either. Even "Them" doesn't contain God. Just "God," we say, and bow our
heads to the ground in awe at One whom we cannot understand, not ever in this life. We cannot understand. But we can love. Ubi caritas, ibi Deus.

The House of Bishops [of the Episcopal Church] and hundreds of people, assembled to witness yesterday's [August 5, 2003] historic vote affirming the election of the first gay bishop able to be open about who he was, sang this gentle statement of faith together after the vote was announced. Ubi caritas et amor, ibi Deus est. If there is love among us, God will not be far away. The quiet tune was like a sigh -- for some, a sigh of happiness, for others, a sigh of heartbreak. It may be that some there were unable to sing at all, their throats were so full of tears.

Let us sing anyway. Ubi caritas, et amor, Deus ibi est. Let us love one another. Let us take special pains to love those most different from ourselves. Let us love the one who has hurt us most, the one whose actions are the farthest beyond our understanding -- let us allow the God who created the one we cannot love on our own to teach us how. Let us each pray the name of the one with whom we differ
most powerfully, with whom we are angriest. Let us sing our prayer to be released from grudge and anger like a sigh, a gentle breath of song escaping our lips, a ruach that lifts away from us and flies gently through the world, alighting where it will.

Copyright © 2003 Barbara Crafton

From The Almost-Daily eMo from the Geranium Farm, e-mail messages sent by Episcopal priest and writer Barbara Crafton. Crafton's eMo's are published in book form by Church Publishing. Visit her Web site at http://www.geraniumfarm.org

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