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More on God

Thank you, dear “Musings” readers, for your many responses to last week’s post! It appears that many of you share my need for more clarity about the fuzziness of God.

There is one “Musings” reader whose perspective matters particularly to me. Her name is Roberta Maran, and she happens to be my wife. She read my post last week and when I asked her what she thought, she told me she was disappointed.

After 21 years living with a Christian minister, hoping the whole time that I might be able to help her get some clarity about the subject, she still was frustrated. When she was a child, growing up in a devout Catholic family, going to Catholic schools, attending mass faithfully, she wanted to believe in God. She would lie in bed at night, looking out the window at a sky bathed in moonlight, asking God: “If you really exist, can you flutter the curtain right now?” Every time she asked, the curtain stayed still. She gave up.

Roberta had nothing to do with organized religion until I came into her life decades later. She kept hoping that I’d give a sermon or write a “Musing” that would explain it all to her in comprehensible, coherent terms. Over and over again, the curtain stayed still. She felt like my last post might finally give her the answer, but it didn’t quite do it. Hearing and seeing her disappointment this time, my heart went out to her.

“We’ve got to solve this problem,” I said. “Twenty-one years is too long.” She agreed. We talked it through in a way we’d never done before.

She emerged with a two-sentence description of God that made sense to her. I am enchanted with it, especially with the fact that it takes the indeterminate form of questions:

“Is it possible that God is the feeling you are left with when there are no words to describe the essence of an experience? Or is it also possible that God is the feeling of awe that comes when a moment occurs unexpectedly, making surprising connections?”

I should have asked my wife who God is a long time ago!


Website: JIMBURKLO.COM Weblog: MUSINGS Follow me on twitter: @jtburklo
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Associate Dean of Religious Life, University of Southern California

Topics: Spiritual Exploration & Practice. 8 Points: Point 1: Teachings of Jesus. Seasons & Special Events: Lent. Ages: Adult. Resource Types: Articles.

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