I have to admit, since my earlier days in the evangelical realm I’ve found it difficult to continue to read the Bible. It had been gravely taken out of context and intellectualized. I had come to believe in a punitive god that was disappointed in me, yet still loved me. God was “out there” and I was his puppet on a string. Not to mention that I thought I had it all figured out and was one of the chosen ones who had access to enter through the narrow gate to heaven. But of course that could only happen through the Jesus Prayer witnessed by another “saved” soul. Oh yes! I said that prayer over and over in case it didn’t “take”.
As I journeyed into a more contemplative understanding of God I found a much deeper Truth about this Divine Source. In desperation I began reminding myself over and over that God is IN me and available always. God loves me flaws and all. And if there is any “saving” to be done, it is through Grace and Love that I am saved from myself….my small self and the self whose reality has been coming from her thoughts alone.
The God I’ve come to know is absolutely in every fiber of my being and I am an extension of this Great Love. But reading from Richard Rohr today, https://cac.org/daily-meditations/love-and-suffering-2022-08-14/ has given me pause to an ever-expanding understanding. Once again this beautiful modern day mystic has put words to the knowing inside me….words quoted from scripture.
The apostle Paul said, “For God is not far from any of us, since it is in God that we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:27–28).
I’d read this scripture and heard it from the pulpit a bazillion times. Yet, I missed it. Why? Because I intellectualized it back then. In my evangelical days I helped Paul with his quote. I was sure what Paul meant was “For God is not far from any of us (just above us flying around in space or in the heavens), since it is in (the BELIEF of) God that we live and move and have our being.”
In fact, I have to say, I was never big on Paul. He just felt too bossy and outspoken…..telling all of us what Jesus’ disciples had already witnessed and told. And honestly until today, I hadn’t given Paul another thought.
But why now? Because I now SEE the Paul’s of the world. Those who have had a mystical experience with the Divine Source of Life. Those who have had their own “on the road of Damascus” experience and have done their best to put words to it where words just don’t suffice.
Back to what has given me pause! It’s been so important to me to know that God is IN me…..but almost to the point of missing an even greater phenomenon. Every bit of me….my heart, mind and soul are IN GOD. In this Divine Source of all of life, in the Cosmic Christ. There is absolutely no separation. It IS Oneness and not just an intellectualized “oneness”….but a Universal Truth.