For years people have suggested that my work has a spiritual aspect to it. I usually smile, shrug and move on. And then this happened.
We were out running, my son and I. It was in the middle of the high holidays, usually a time for soul searching and contemplation.
Even so, when he said it to me, I was quite surprised. Now lots of things he says to me surprise me, but this was near the top of the list of unexpected topics in that moment.
“I don’t know if I believe in God”, he said….
“But I’ve given myself these 10 days”…
“For what”, I asked.
“To find God” he said, very matter-of-factly.
“Okay….so where are you looking?” I asked.
“What do you mean?” he said.
“Where are you looking for God? do you think she’ll just show up?”
“What do you mean she?” he said.
And so the conversation went on – about how I don’t really see god as the old, white-haired, bearded guy sitting in the clouds. That maybe you have to look for something if you want to find it. That you might not find god in the xbox or on youtube videos. How maybe God’s everywhere and inside each of us.
And the conversation got me thinking. About my life, my relationship to God and of course my work.
Firstly, I realized that I find god in unexpected places. Not necessarily in a place of worship, or during a time of prayer. Not particularity when I am looking or when I feel a particular need or desire to find God.
I find God…
…in a smile, or an act of kindness…in a connecting glance…in a moment of unexpected honesty…at the beach…in the forest…out walking my dog in the morning…while doing my hanging-the-laundry-meditation…in the coffee shop watching people around me to the soundtrack of Leonard Cohen or Mozart…in an intense stomach ache…or a sadness I can no longer hold inside…in the squeal of pleasure or surprise…in a gift of presence…in a great cup of tea…
There are so many places to find God.
My son didn’t quite get this. He’s only 14, but such an inquisitive and exploring soul. I’m not sure if he really got the answers he was looking for but I must admit, I did.
You see the biggest revelation for me was a place that I find God that I haven’t mentioned yet.
I find God in the story. The story that will help you find yourself. The story that is so familiar, so moving and yet so distant to your awareness. The story that brings you home.
And it happens all the time. When I hear someone tell a story and though it’s their experience and their perspective, they can’t really see it for themselves. But I can. I can tell them their story and they see it fresh again. They see who they are and they understand their place in the world. And they feel healed.
It’s truly a moment in the presence of God.
And I am unbelievable humbled and honored to be there too.
Where do you find God? Share your story here.