Sometimes I sense God peeking around the corner; just on the margins of my day. Sort-of wanting to be seen, but mostly committed to a game of hide-and-seek. It’s cute, at first; then just irritating. Other times God is like a mother’s fingers picking lint off the shoulder of my sweater. Tidying me up, making sure I’m presentable, and giving me the not-so-subtle sense that I’m not quite put together. And then there is the unmistakable presence of God in guilt. When I seemingly abandon all reason and make choices and feel consequences – again. This God is clear: brooding, hovering, thunderous clouds, dark and penetrating cold, an all-encompassing storm.
None of these are the God I long for, the God I need, the God I can believe in.
I want to find (and be found by) a God who is present like warm sun reflected on a lake. Who loves like good wine. Who listens like the dearest friend. Who tells me truth I cannot evade, nor want to. Who laughs at my jokes as easily and kindly as my failings. Who holds me close while I weep. Who knows-knows-knows me inside-and-out and still thinks I’m amazing. Who endlessly, infinitely, passionately searches for me. Who, when found, stays.
Truth: my experience and understanding of God these 50+ years has been filled with both the peeking, nit-picking, stormy one and the glistening, intoxicating, generous one.
More truth: The God I have experienced and believed in (or not) has not actually been about God, but me. I am the one who has acceded to and applied these experiences, categories, sweeping generalizations, contained and way-too-small understandings.
Deeper truth: Still, I long for more, I need more, I believe there is more.
Deepest truth: I have found all of this and then some in the stories of women in Scripture. And I have been found.
These women – and their stories – have sustained me when nothing and no one else could. These women – and their stories – have enabled my oft’ wavering hope to survive despite betrayal, shame, silence, heartbreak, and fear. These women – and their stories – are where I have found a God who shows up uniquely, powerfully, tenderly, beautifully for women, who sees and hears women, who protects women, who honors women, who loves and loves and loves women, who does all of these things for me.
Without the stories of women in Scripture I would neither know myself nor a God I can believe in.
So this is why I re-imagine, retell, and redeem the stories of women in Scripture with passion and ceaseless insistence. This is why I will not be silent where these women’s stories, experiences, and God are concerned. This is why I continue to speak on behalf of other women’s stories, why I continue to name and advocate for an understanding of the Divine that makes a difference. This is why I’m a feminist. This is why I have any faith at all.
In my wanting, I have been met.
In my seeking, I have been found.
And in my desire, I have been nurtured, nourished, and sustained.
This is a God I can believe in – and do.
Maybe you could, as well.
May it be so.
Not a small or inconsequential conversation – this stuff of spirituality, God, and life. And the Sacred Ground upon which I walk with and for you. Sacred Conversation.
Ronna is a modern-day demigoddess. Part-soul priestess, part-tenderhearted feminist, her words are a divine benediction to all who hear them. She has an instinctive knack for prising you open with the utmost compassion — and she helped me recognize my resistance to reconciling with the beliefs impressed on me throughout my childhood. Ronna is someone I trust implicitly & she is the perfect intermediary for this type of soul work. ~ Nikki Groom, Extraordinary Writing for Extraordinary Women
And of course, these are the stories – and their God – from which wisdom and guidance pour forth. All you have to do is ask. Sacred Readings.
One last “pitch.” I’m honored and privileged to be a contributor to Cigdem Kobu’s Winter Joy Retreat, beginning December 1. Here’s how she describes it:
This 21-day retreat is an intimate experience of truth telling, self-discovery, self-compassion, and real transformation through reading, writing, storytelling, literature, and introspective journaling. It’s for women who want to feel empowered, hopeful and full of joyful energy as one year ends and a new one begins.
How can you resist? Click on the image to your left, or right here to learn more and get signed up!