Wednesday, November 24, 2010

God is a Playful Puppy

I recently read a book about St. Francis of Assisi -- John Michael Talbot's The Lessons of St. Francis:  how to bring simplicity and spirituality into your daily life -- in which I came across this marvelous passage:
"What is it about some religious people -- whether in Francis' day or our own -- that makes them think God is a cosmic killjoy?  That sancity must lead straight to solemnity?  That hymns must be funeral dirges?  They certainly don't get such ideas from God, who rejoiced as he created the universe, or Jesus, whose first miracle was to turn water into wine at a wedding feast.  Many people obviously don't understand what the anonymous medieval author of The Cloud of Unknowing meant when he talked about 'the delight of the Lord's playfulness.'"
I've said before that I think one of the better images we could have of the divine is that of a playful puppy -- literally falling all over itself with exuberant energy and slobbering all over you and me with affection.  Nothing we can do will ever diminish the puppy's enthusiasm, its excitement and delight, its devotion . . . and so I think it is with God. 

If God's an old man in the clouds, then there's a twinkle in his eyes and he loves to pretend to pull a quarter out of your ear just so that he can see the way your face lights up.

The ancients didn't tell us that God feels love or is loving towards us, but that God is love.  Some have interpreted the mysterious revelation to Moses -- "I am that I am" -- as God saying "I am existence itself,"  Note that this doesn't mean, "I am all the things in existence," but rather, that God is existence or, as some have put it, is IS-ness itself.  God is love and, I would add, is exuberance, is delight, is joy.

For this, may we be truly grateful.

In Gassho,

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