Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Not Embarrassed to Talk about God

A while back I posted a blog about Dorothy Day - but didn't mention one of her most intriguing thoughts: "If I have achieved anything in my life, it is because I have not been embarrassed to talk about God."

Christians talk about lots of things, and even express their admiration for their church or a mission activity (or occasionally even the preacher!) quite readily. But do we say much about God?

In yet another blog a while back, I shared my jittery concern with the state and future of faith, echoing the sentiments of Kenda Creasy Dean (Almost Christian) who says we aren't against God at all, but our faith is not very robust - and God rarely is thought of or mentioned. She says that for the life of faith to be vital, we need to talk, and listen, and listen and talk, about God with others.

Can we begin a few conversations about God? The fear, I know, is we will embarrass ourselves, or somebody else; I don't have a scintillating story, or Frankly I'm confused about God, or I know a little about the Bible but not much - or conversely we might turn the volume up too high, with I had a vision of heaven, or Jesus spoke to me just a few minutes ago, or I've learned to pray constantly even during tedious business meetings.

Maybe our God talk is like children's coloring: there may be lines but they don't really matter, and all drawings are lovely. We say something about our sense of God, our wonderments, the shadows and the light - and it gives someone else permission to share, and we hear ourselves and others saying something about God. Say you're confused; I'll guarantee you your listener is too. Say something positive you've felt or known; your listener probably needs a glimmer of hope. Probably, what God wants most is quite simply to be spoken of, to be noticed, to be a topic of some importance.

At our Church we're planning a modern day Revival early in January (watch for details): one goal will be to free us up to say something about God, and to listen to others, to grow together.

Maybe we practice over dinner, or on the phone, or in an email... Dorothy Day, after all, achieved a fair amount simply because she was never embarrassed to speak of God.