Friday, June 06, 2014

"Think of water as a different metaphor for God.  Water rushes to fill all the nooks and crannies available to it; water swirls around every stone, sweeps into every crevice, touches all things in its path--and changes all things in its path.  The changes are subtle, often slow, and happen through a continuous interaction with the water that affects both the water and that which the water touches.  Particles of sand and sediment change the color of the water, and the water's action changes the stone, and the land, and the life that can be supported.  The water doesn't exert its power by being 'single-minded' over and above these things, but simply by being pervasively present to and with all things.  It does not evoke the 'command' of power over its creation; it is more like a 'persuasive' power with and around its creation.  Its power is a power of presence.

What if God is like that?  Could we not imagine a God pervasively present throughout all the universe, filling all its vast and small spaces, its greatest galaxies and its tiniest motes of stardust?  If God's power works through presence, and if God's presence is an 'omnipresence,' then one could say both that there is no center to the universe and the everything in the universe is center to all else.  There is no center, for all things are 'equidistant' from God, and the centeredness of God is unbounded.  But, paradoxically, we can say that all things are center, for if all things are in the presence of God, then it is God who centers them. ... For if God is omnipresent, centering all things, then God is like the rushing water of the universe, filling all spaces, honoring all spaces, centering all spaces through the specialness of divine presence.  Prayer in such a universe makes eminent sense--for God is always present.  And perhaps this divine presence invites us into communion."

--Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki, In God's Presence


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