What Do You Know About God?

A friend of mine recently pointed out a reality which I have experienced, but had not yet named for myself. Sisters are expected to be theologians. It is an unspoken expectation, but present nonetheless. She expressed frustration with this because it was not her training, and I can sympathize. I have often felt unequal to the task when these encounters arise. People in all areas of my life have asked me difficult questions more times than I can count; questions about life and death, grief, faith, God, morality, the Church… the list could be endless. Yet, I am not a trained theologian, spiritual director, ethicists, liturgist, church historian, or cannon lawyer. I do wish I could provide better answers for people who are honestly seeking an experience of the divine in their lives. However, my response to these searching questions can only come from a place of my own lived experience of God.

Often times, when I dig into my own understanding of who God is, my responses to these myriad questions are based on God whom I understand to be Love. This may be a very simple understanding but this is what I have to go on. Also, humanity knows so very little about God, and I less than many due to my lack of study, but I know who God has been and continues to be for me. I look to Jesus, the Healer and preacher of peace, and I look to the Spirit who is our Guide and Advocate. I look into my understanding of the Creator who has made a cosmos of balance, abundant life, and wonder.

This is my theology, and my own personal salvation history. I can’t explain why bad things happen to good people, or why God does not prevent harm in our world. I do know that Jesus came to show us how to live, how to be better humans. I do know that God did not create us for suffering. I do know that our relationship, personally and communally, with God can become the road map to navigating difficult life choices, and that God will never leave us alone to face these hard moments.

There have been so many times in my life where this role has been reversed, and I have received the gift of another’s experience of God. Sisters, parents, family, friends have all been theologians for me in the sharing of their faith. It is fitting that no one has a corner on the theology market, you do not have to stand in a pulpit to say, through word and deed, who God is for you. Together, all of God’s creation, speaks of God and teaches us how to 8f59d02ccecc97b03224a11f9af53770live abundantly and in reverence for all life.

So when people ask me for answers I frame my thoughts in the context of a God who is Love itself, a life that is meant to exists in balance, and in God’s perennial invitation to personal and communal healing and wholeness. Perhaps one day I will be better able to articulate a fuller understanding of God. Until then, I must rely on my own faith in these moments when I am asked to be present to a person’s lived reality of loss, suffering, and confusion. I hope that my own experience of God’s love, healing, and guidance will be enough.