“Where are you?”

I say to God, quietly, in the darkness.


And it is only later

that I hear His Answer.


God says:

“I sit upon a throne

with jewles in the upholstery.

Millions of jewles in the upholstery.

And every single one

is a universe.”


God says

“I caress the jewles or remove them from my throne.

And I hold them in my hand.

And I see into them.

So deeply.”


God says

“I see across the light years.

I see through the dusty nebulae.

I see and I hear and I know so deeply.

Where you are, right where you are.

And I feel for you and with you.”


God says

“I am not only in the constants that keep the universes swirling about each other.

I am not only in the forces that keep the suns burning.

I am inside every single nucleus of every single atom

that ever is or was or will be.

With hands tiny, invisible and unimaginably mighty

I hold the positively charged protons together.

I am the strong nuclear force.”


God says

“I am in the heart.

I am in the mind.

I am in the soul.

I am a stirring.

I am encouragement.

I am a voice, an echo, a shout

of joy or indignation

calling you out to danger

or into safety.


God says

“There is a little throne

much like my great throne.

It too is encrusted with jewels.

And I am sitting there, too,

if you have invited me.”


God says

“I am still upon a cross

and yet I am risen.

I am gathering disciples.

I am returning to disciples.

I am preparing a place for you.

I am.”


God says

“You have asked me

‘Where are you, God?”


God says

“The question isn’t where am I.

The question is ‘where are you’ “


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The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

3 thoughts on “Where?”

  1. Thanks to both of you. This was one of those pieces of writing that I can’t take much credit for… It pretty much just passed through me.
    Jenn, this created one of those funny/awkward moments for me, when I saw that you commented. When I saw that you replied, but before I actually read your reply, all I could think of is “Crap. If anybody has the right to be asking/feeling, “God, where are you…””


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