Sunday, September 9, 2012

God


Sometimes I don't know if I believe in God. I do at least know that I don't believe in a smiley, white, creepy Jesus like this one:



Or a Jesus who holds a token black child in a token African setting while blessing the colonialist endeavors of white capitalist America:



Of course, if you do believe in Jesus (a non-white, ethnically/culturally correct Jesus who loves people and doesn't say anything about homosexuality), that's totally cool too. I have a rosary that I like to wear sometimes because it's pretty and because it reminds me to try to be nice to people. Which is hard for me.

One thing I do believe in is nature. Whenever I'm in nature, I feel closer to something and empowered to believe in something. It could be (Navajo-style) my connection to the rest of the world or whatever spiritual forces I (or you) believe are at work in the world.


My favorite poems about God have always been those that connect God to nature. For example,

Sacrament

God, I have sought you as a fox seeks chickens,
curbing my hunger with cunning.
The times I have tasted your flesh
there was no bread and wine between us,
only night and the wind beating the grass.

-Alden Nowlan

I love the idea that nature can be a temple/place of worship, regardless of whatever kind of God/spirituality/beauty you believe in. Here's a picture I took of a beautiful place:


I've been having recurring dreams about the ocean. I think I need to go.


At the same time, I love touring different faiths' houses of worship. Here's the mosque at Touba, the holy city of Senegal. Sorry the pictures are so dark:





One thing I really like about mosques is that people use them as literal places of rest--you go there at any time during your day on any day of the week and you eat, sleep, and relax in these beautiful, ornate rooms. What a great idea.

Also, if you live in Utah and haven't been to the Cathedral of the Madeleine, I would encourage you to go. It's gorgeous and very much worth the trip.


In sum, whatever God you choose to believe in or not to believe in, spend some time somewhere beautiful for you this week, and, if you need to, reorient yourself to the goodness that can exist in the world outside of prejudice, bias, bullying, and hate. All those things exist in the world and in all cultures and societies, and so nature tends to become that place for me. I choose to believe that if there is a god, s/he wants you to love yourself and to feel loved. So find your place somewhere where you can feel loved and good; I hope that this blog can be one of the those places for you. 

8 comments:

  1. You are great and so is this post. That is a really nice way to think of god and it makes me feel happy!

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  2. Wow you are nice and I love you!

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  3. Kylie! I love that there are so many people who feel the way I do. I've always felt a huge connection to nature. That's where I've felt the most "spiritual" sort of happiness and where I've felt most comfortable in my own skin. I definitely believe in Mother Nature--she is my god.

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  4. That explains how I feel! I like that nature is personified as a woman...I think that makes me feel closer to it than to a white male god anyway.

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    1. Especially a white, male god that looks as frightening as the smiley-jesus at the top of this post. o_O

      Great thoughts and thanks for sharing your wonderful perspective.

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    2. Aw, thanks MJ! That's the creepiest Jesus picture I've ever seen...it would have been a crime to keep it to myself :)

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  5. There is a bit of irony about your token photograph. My pastor has that picture up at our church and I asked him about it. He said the photo was spontaneous. The actor playing Jesus picked up the child who had been hanging around the set during filming between shoots. He was probably just trying to stay in character. And the photographer saw and snapped the photo.

    It's a little unfair to project capitalist imperialism onto something innocent and fortuitous.

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