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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

GOD

I have managed to get myself into the uncomfortable position of having to explain my belief in a supreme being—God. Given that all but a small minority of Christians, despite the press releases, are not forthcoming on the subject. As verbose as I am perceived, I tend to be fairly quiet about God. Choosing to speak at length of the failings of Congress or the problem with highway patrolmen who text and drive, instead of any real discussion of something substantial like what I truly believe. 
My past includes stints as a bible-thumping-door-to-door witnessing Baptist, a confused agnostic, an angry atheist, a momentary Buddhist, and finally growing into maturity as so-so Lutheran. I have been college educated as a dollar-chasing capitalist in several fine colleges. No formal training in theology or philosophy or the human condition ever presented itself. I have read the Bible from cover to cover a few times—King James, New International Version, English Standard Version, and God’s Word.  One should keep up with the times.  My Grandfather Heck would have been ashamed of my appalling lack of knowledge of  the Scriptures.
Having set down two paragraphs of disclaimers, here is my belief in God.
1.      HONEY. Honey does not spoil. It is everywhere. Bees make it. Humans eat it. Aristotle recorded in 322 A.D. the antiseptic and antibacterial properties of the golden liquid. It heals wounds and settles baby’s tummy. If the honey crystallizes over time, setting it in the sun will return it to its natural state. The cast-off of honey is beeswax. A beeswax candle burns smoke-free and naturally bright light of the same light spectrum as the sun. A single candlelight can be seen by a human a mile away. The wax and honey are biodegradable, renewable, and environmentally friendly.  Honey was here on earth for us to find, to keep us healthy, fed, and safe. Follow the bears. Let there be light.
2.      MILK. Yes, I know all mammals have milk, even the platypus duck. However, the clever humans made leather skeins filled them with milk to transport and discovered…not spoiled milk…okay sometimes…but curds, whey, butter, soft cheese. Food created without effort. A gift that stores for months.
3.      OLIVES and ACORNS. Olives and acorns have something in common. The fruits/nuts need to be brined or leeched before eating. Both foods require extensive preparation. Olives have been cultivated for 5,000 to 6,000 years. Acorns were processed by the first Americans—the Indians. At what point did the human decide to start this process and ensured the survival of several continents of beings? I understand walking out of a cave after a forest fire and smelling an elk burning a few feet in front of me and saying, “Hmm barbeque good. Me want barbeque. Me cook barbeque.” And it’s not the same as wine either. Grape juice in a jug left too long equals happy juice. No processing olives and acorns required divine intervention—a whisper as to the recipe.
4.       BABY’S GIGGLE. I hear over and over the miracle of birth, the blessing of a child, and God’s gift. Okay. I know you are happy that you successfully procreated.  Hurrah! In case you did not notice, so does every other species on the planet. Some do it by just splitting apart with no real fanfare. I saw that miracle through a microscope.  You can cut earthworms in half. They regenerate and thrive. That is pretty exciting. No it is not the birth of a human child that is miraculous—noteworthy but not miraculous. It is a baby’s giggle. Have you heard it? Have you seen the child light from within and explode in happiness? There is nothing else like it on this planet. It is unique, special, and as close to God I can get without a burning bush.

5.      GOD. This is the part where you can stop reading, ignore the mad woman, or… God speaks to each of us, all the time, everywhere, and each day. So many times, I have waited for the clap of thunder, parting of the seas, or the vision to show me the next step in my life. But what I have found is that God speaks to me. Most of the time, I am talking, shouting, crying, bitching, and not listening. Once in a great while, when my mouth is shut I hear inside of me a voice that cannot be described as a wave of sound but a light as bright as the beeswax candle that helps me for a moment in my life. How can a sound be light and God? I know it is. It is my faith and what I believe.