A God that lies nowhere and everywhere in between

I tried to find Him on the Christian cross, but He
was not there; I went to the Temple of the
Hindus and to the old pagodas, but I could not
find a trace of Him anywhere.

I searched on the mountains and in the valleys
but neither in the heights nor in the depths was I
able to find Him. I went to the Ka’bah in Mecca,
but He was not there either.

I questioned the scholars and philosophers but
He was beyond their understanding.

I then looked into my heart and it was there
where He dwelled that I saw Him; He was
nowhere else to be found.

Allah by Rumi

It is my prayer that we discover this God in our hearts and that this God leave us not as we are found. I pray we are transformed as we encounter the heart of God. That what breaks God’s heart breaks ours. That we cease division upon human differances and unify in the love of God. Our culture is filled with idols. Religious idols of yesterday. Religious idols of today. Religious idols of tomorrow. Do we worship a God that spans the length of time? Do we worship the God that cannot depart from our spirit? To whom do we worship? What God holds your life in cherished hands? Is not this God then that created all, loves all, and judges with mercy and grace not bigger than the idolic institutions to which we hold so dearly too?

Sisters and brothers when do we move beyond the majesty of self and into the majesty of God? For our hearts are the place to which God inhabits that transforming peace we so desperately seek. I seek a God that lies nowhere and everywhere in between the places of idolitry

8 thoughts on “A God that lies nowhere and everywhere in between

  1. Hmmm, I wonder if you read the entire post. I would agree with what you said. We cannot find God on the cross for God in Christ conquered death. We cannot find God for ourselves, so Christ enters us… Who gets to determine the us in that equation?

    It makes me wonder what idolatry we are wrapped up in here.

  2. John M says:

    Very nice posts.

    What if we Christians had a one sentence profession of faith, got down on our knees five times a day in prayer, set aside a portion of our income each year for those in need, fasted during the daylight hours during Lent, and if possible journey to Jerusalem once doing our lifetime? Would that not shake up our placidness?

    I to share and affinity to Islam, especially the Sufi.

  3. Hey Ryan, greetings from Kenya! It’s been a bit of a whirl since I got here, but here I am! And in one piece! I’m at my homestay right now (I have no idea where I am actually) but am enjoying the kindness of a Kenyan family. Not too much excitement since we all got to Kenya, but we’re all learning an incredible amount. I’ve already seen things that will leave a lasting impact upon me. Anyway, I gave Phyills your best, and she screamed in joy when I showed her the hat you gave me. She says she misses you very much. I move into the CWS apartment next week, but have no idea when I’ll start working. I wanted to thank you again for helping us out at the YAV event, and offering all the advice and stories that you did. Truly was a blessing. I look forward to being in conversation with you through out the year!

  4. Dani says:

    Ryan, I love your posts. I love remembering that there is so much about God that is not wrapped up in church picnics and powerpoint presentations, what screen you are using and how many worship songs you offer in a typical service. Gosh. How often we miss the grandeur of God.

  5. Brian Cubbage says:

    The problem as I see it is not so much reaffirming that it is in the heart that we encounter God. As Augustine said, ‘In the interior person truth dwells.’ The problem is instead figuring out just what this human heart is that reflects the glory of God. What does it mean, exactly, to be created in the image of God? What about us portrays God as God is, and what doesn’t? It’s after getting that sorted out, I think, that we then face the problem of whether our relationship to our own ‘imageness’ is to be an idolatrous one or not.

    Or not. I’m up right now sick as a dog, hoping that projectile vomiting is not something in virtue of which I’m created in God’s image.

    Excellent post!

  6. thank you to all for the complements.

    @henry I am excited for your year of service in Kenya. I follow with envy and admiration.

    @Dani I know I miss the grandeur of God on a daily basis. What I catch in the shadows of Gods glory is enough to sustain me until the not yet. Imagine if we tuned our hearts and minds to a visible and transforming faith of God.

    @Brain I hope you feel better. I wrestle with imago dei. How can brokenness, depravity, humanity…be holders in any way the image of God? Yet here we are imperfect vessels of God being called to be the hands, feet, and heart of the divine here in this place…I may get ill just trying to understand this in all of its beautiful complexity.

    Blessings to y’all!

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