Mary Logue was the planned speaker at semi-programmed meeting for worship on August 25, 2013.
I was raised Lutheran by my father. Sunday morning my mother stretched out on the couch and did the crossword puzzle while we were at church. I knew who had the best deal. When I left home, I quit going to church.
Over two years ago, I came to this meeting house for the first time. I had driven by it often and had always wondered about what went on there. I was curious about the Quakers and had done some reading, but it wasn’t until I took a class in meditation that I ventured in to this building. When the class ended, I came to see that I am such an extrovert that I actually like meditating with other people more than doing it alone. So I backed into this meeting because I wanted to be surrounded by other people as I sat quietly.
At around the same time, I had started going to a CODA group. This is a 12-step program for codependents. I was stuck on the third step: “made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understood God.” The problem was I didn’t understand God. I didn’t know God. I wasn’t sure I even believed in such a concept.
So I started to look for God. I asked other people how they understood God. One of my friends told me that the group could be god, the earth could be god, love could be god. This helped.
At the same time I was reading more and more about God—I read Karen Armstrong’s book The Spiral Staircase, in which she writes, “many theologians and mystics insisted that God was not an objective fact, was not another being, and was not an unseen reality like the atom… Some went so far as to say that it was better to say that God did not exist, because our notion of existence was too limited to apply to God.”
And I read the 12th century Persian poet Rumi. In one poem he writes, “A star in your chest says, None of this is outside you. Close your lips and let the maker of mouths talk, the one who says things.”
I came to a point where I was comfortable turning my life over to God, whoever that was. I came to this meeting every Sunday morning and read that God is light, and as I watched the morning sun come through the windows and shine on the faces of all who surrounded me, I knew I was in the presence of God.
I came to see that I didn’t have to look for God. I just had to open myself to God’s presence, that it is all around me and in me. That I could feel it in this room, and in the world.
Then I read a wonderful article that took on this notion of “understanding God.” A big issue for me is my desire to know everything and then feel like I have some control over it. If only I understood God, maybe I could persuade him to see things my way. This writer said we do not have to understand a computer to believe it exists or to feel comfortable using it. I began to see that I didn’t have to comprehend God to feel this presence.
So I come most Sunday mornings to this quiet place and sit in peace and wait for God to find me. It never fails that the light shines down on all of us.