My favorite passage from A Cup of Pending is this one from Chapter 3:
“… and that’s the third great lesson of Job. There’s no justice in a world where God makes bets with the Devil for his own amusement.”
Irreverent, sarcastic, a little caustic – this is the kind of line that defines my writing and my usual demeanor. My second favorite passage comes a little earlier in the same chapter when Blanche offers to pray for Cliff and makes a mockery of Christian charity in the process:
She still had a grip on Cliff’s hand. A crowd had started to gather around them, circling like sharks sensing blood in the water. Blanche looked up toward the ceiling, suspended acoustic tile punctuated with fluorescent light fixtures. So fervent was her gaze Cliff almost believed God must be on the other side of the tiles, hiding in the conduit and duct work, just waiting for the chance to bless a petitioner. Continue reading
Two Approaches to Humility
The Hard One
Real humility is a virtuous ideal embraced by most religions and theologies. There are spiritual exercises and practices designed to engender humility in the individual seeking enlightenment and improvement. Humility is a virtue, a first step, a fundamental principle. Humility is the foundation for charity, piety, discernment, justice, and even faith. Continue reading
Wildlife: Cool? For sure. Friendly? Not necessarily.
Nature Can Be Cruel
Periodically I run into people who claim to be spiritual rather than religious. They believe in a creator, but they do not believe that creator is to be found in any organized church. In fact most of them seem to believe that any form of organized religion is the antithesis of spirituality, and that adherence to the tenets and precepts of a particular faith is one of the surest ways to remove oneself from god’s presence…or to remove god from one’s own, whichever the case might be.
Although I understand where these people are coming from, and what they mean by that, I must confess that I almost always think that they are just making excuses for their inability to embrace their own essence as beings created by the creator they say they believe in.
Usually these irreligionists point to nature as the place where they feel most at peace and most in awe of the god of their understanding. They are not comfortable in church where too many rules and too much ritual and way too many people get in the way of encountering the divine. They see these things as impediments to experiencing the true creative genius of the god they are able to accept. Continue reading
Death: Startling, Natural, Peaceful
I’ve watched two people die in my life. The most recent was my mother. I was in the room with her the moment she died, holding her hand, trying, for once, to be a comfort to her. Continue reading
The Best Evidence that God is Real!
Seeking a more logical cosmology.
I’ve been involved in a lot of discussions lately about the existence of God or, conversely, the folly of faith. Mostly these have been fairly civil dialogues on Soul Pancake or The Great Silent Majority page on Facebook. I recommend either or both to your attention if you think it’s fun to think and write about life’s great questions with people who are willing to listen politely, even to those they consider to be idiots. I’ve distilled much of what I’ve posted elsewhere into this little treatise on why I believe in God and why I do not think this is lunacy. Continue reading