God in the belly

We had another God conversation yesterday. Me and my five-year-old uber-questioner (for our last see Jesus in a Spaceship).

“God is in here”, he said, patting his belly, on the way home from another indoctrination at school. “So I guess that means he’s like a ghost…but not so white…and smaller because otherwise you’d have a really big belly!”

“Yes,” I replied, “I think God is inside, but outside too. God is the life in everything, the energy in the Sun, in you, in the birds and flowers, God is everything magical and mysterious that we cannot see, God is in our breath…” but whilst I am grasping for definitions, he has already moved on. “What’s for supper, mum?”

God is on my mind at the moment. I go to sleep at night listing the qualities I understand as being God. I no longer hold with much of my Christian upbringing. But I do believe there is far more to us, to the world, than meets the eye. The life of the spirit and cultivating its growth are central to my life.

We had been visited by a very sweet Jehovah’s Witness monthly for years at our old house. I have debated the Bible with her and read her magazines. When we moved house I was relieved I would no longer have to have these uncomfortable conversations. Until she turned up on our doorstep three weeks after we moved in. Bother!

But this week I feel I may have disappointed her. She was showing me an article entitled  Who is God?
“I think this might be of use to you,” she said.
“Umm, I don’t think of God as being a person,” I said, “more of an energy force, a universal, underlying life force… ” I was scrabbling again.
Her face fell. “Oh! I didn’t realise. You don’t believe in God so? I thought… so I’m not really going to get very far with you, am I?
“No” I replied bashfully, “But I think you’re a really nice person!”
Oh dear. Another person worried for my immortal soul!

Another friendship is faltering because of our divergent beliefs in “God”, “religion” and general dogma. We don’t seem to be able to converse at all…nor steer clear of the topic.

And I know that every time I touch on the subject here I am terrified of scaring off my readers in droves, the religious amongst you, and the non-religious alike…

And so to you, yes YOU dear reader. You might have thought you were tip-toeing unnoticed over these pages, but the stats counter keeps rocketing up: I know you’re there. This week was annual delurking day when bloggers ask their valued readers to come forward and say hello, especially if you’ve never dared show yourself before! So take a moment and tell me, in the comments box below, who are you?… And if that’s too easy, then tell me: What does God mean to you? Where does God live? And how do you know this?


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  1. Dreamingaloudnet

    Beautiful, ladies. Twyla I think you have me on your blog roll – thank you, Erin welcome I hope you come back and find yourself at home here. I LOOOOOVE Mama Om.

    Thank you for your insights (and for revealing yourselves!) Interesting that you say you are happy to leave it a mystery. I am constantly wanting to define it logically and linguistically. I guess it is my need to define and control, and a writer’s instinct. Which is a little ridiculous really seeing as no one has ever managed to explain God really,so that others can understand, because no one KNOWS definitively.

    No traditional believers speaking up (and one person has removed themselves from my FB page – ooops!)…you’re very welcome too. As are the atheists amongst you. Once we all speak from our own experience it’s all good.

  2. Patrick

    I was standing out looking at the stars recently and it suddenly occurred to me how small I felt relative to everything around and above me. I’ve often felt quite snobbish about religion but I was struck by how I could really understand it at that moment. Religion is where our human desire for knowledge, understanding and relevance meet the impenetrable scale and mystery of the universe. I’m sure that sounds like the bleedin’ obvious but it was great for me!

    Personally I find magic in the mystery, joy in the thought of what we will never (and don’t need to) understand and love for the divine instinct to pursue truth – scientific, spiritual, artistic or moral.

  3. Dreamingaloudnet

    That, ladies and gents is my dear husband… who I rarely discuss religion with “in the flesh”! Long live the old blogger medium. Thanks PT, an inspiration as always, and far more than meets the eye.

  4. Carol

    I have three children too – aged 11, 8 and 6. I get the questions. I find it hard to answer them. While I am looking for words a 6-year old can fit into their world-view, they are, yes, wondering what is for supper.

  5. mb

    i am so right there with you on this topic. i was also brought up in a deeply religious (christian) home, also am no longer religious, but i am deeply spiritual, in my own way. and i am also definitely grappling with how to interact with people in my “real” life, my blog life, all of it. it’s quite a topic. i don’t even think i could get at the tip of the iceberg on it here in a comment but i wanted to offer some solidarity. 🙂

  6. Anonymous

    Hey Lucy
    Weird! I’ve been having lots of god thinking too! In my lifetime so far I have been a catholic by upbringing, a born again Christian by choice, and a rejecter of faiths. Where I am right now is somewhere between Quaker and Buddhist but even those labels are just that -labels. I have a problem with people being condemned to hell for not believing in the ‘right’ god. Just been re-reading Siddartha by Herman Hesse which has been a wonderful experience and left me feeling utterly refreshed and satisfied in the searching-for-what-god-means department. Jiddu Krishnamurti’s words also seem to be speaking to me right now… Right now I’m thinking that god is a decision to do good over evil, it is a potentialilty in the heart of all. But that is a human perspective – we like to hang a human face and human morals in making an image of god we can identify with yet nature is magnificent even when no humans are in it. The world and the universe would and could carry on without us humans so we are certainly not at centre stage, even though we think we are. Alice Herz Sommer had some pretty amazing insights into the nature of the human heart, she was absolutely beautiful, in spite of what the Nazis did to her. Such grace and deep compassion. Better get back to my ‘ godly’ work of mothering my little growing ‘gods’ and they’re going to be grumpy if mummy doesn’t stop writing to lovely strangers and get them some brekkie! Hehe. Lots of love to all on this thread – paula in cambs 🙂

  7. Dreamingaloudnet

    Thanks for those book/writer mentions Paula, will check them out. I know Krisnamurti, well not personally, but you know what I mean. Sounds like we’re on similarish paths. Thanks for checking in.

    Hi Carol and mb, thanks for joining in too, great to have you here.

  8. Donna

    I grew up Catholic,then became Protestant ( Congregationalist) when I got older,but haven’t gone to church in over 7 years.
    I find more solace and peace just sitting in my yard,or walking the woods,surrounded by the vision of Nature and the sounds of Nature,than I do sitting in a church. I think of God as an energy,that is in everything around us,including ourselves. I think when we pray,we are actually looking inside ourselves for answers,strength,etc. I believe we are all equal,regardless of religious belief,color,or sexual orientation.I don’t believe in legislating morality,or anything else that forces one relgious view on everyone else.

  9. Dreamingaloudnet

    Hi Donna, welcome, sounds like we have a lot in common – thanks for stopping by.