This comment comment by Stephanie on my post Does anyone speak the truth? who wrote something that moved me incredibly. In particular, it was these parts from her comment that I want to highlight:
Your problem is not that God and Jesus are not there, but that you are looking in the wrong place! No, I do not mean to suggest yet another church 🙂 . I mean you already knew Him, He already provided for you many times (no, there are no coincidences…only beautiful flows and connections that He provides for us, so that we may see His hand in our lives).
Where were you when you saw Him the most? In your quiet, pained time, at night, when you were lonely and wounded. When you were sorrowed by the loss of your babies. When you were downtrodden and needed help. You did not have to say special words or go to a place to earn His love. He met you where YOU are because the whole earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. He is not going to withhold His love for you because you are not in the right building. Jesus said that they will come make their home with YOU. THEY will come to YOU and make their home with YOU.
Denominations are made by men. Religion is made by man. Faith is from God through Jesus. You have been taught to look to religion…but God wants you to look to FAITH in Him. Do not look to the face of people, look only to His face. He has the answers you seek…you are not missing “the right church”.
Do not let Christians turn you from God…we are all still learning, all still seeking, all still fail.
Your mind is battling your soul. Your mind doubts. Your soul knows. And your emotions are somewhere in between. The same battle has happened to me (though different circumstances). Sometimes even our great intellect (for I am extremely gifted too 🙂 ) stands in the way, fails to understand. But as a gifted woman, you are smart enough to know that your mind is not 100% perfect 🙂 .
I know that place of condemnation and struggle you are at, and that is not Him, not His will for you. He has so much peace (yes peace!), JOY (joy!), love, compassion, forgiveness, healing for you. These are not just words, you have seen them in your life…you know this to be true.
In the evening, I decided to spend some quiet time in my room. I was led to pick up Siddhartha again, and finally finish the book (at any given time, I’m reading 2-3 books and sometimes it takes me a while to finish a book while other things compete for my attention). Hermann Hesse, my favorite author of late, also grapples with the very question of truth and which doctrine to follow. He sets off on a lifelong journey toward enlightenment and peace, trying on but ultimately rejecting many different doctrines and ways of life until he experiences the ultimate wisdom. I know this is very applicable to me and any of us that has questions and doubts.
“Before I set off on my way again, Siddhartha, allow me one last question. Do you have a doctrine? Is there a belief or some knowledge that guides you, that helps you to live and do what is right?
“You see, my Govinda, here is one of the thoughts I have found. Wisdom can not be passed on. Wisdom that a wise man attempts to pass on, always sounds like foolishness.”
“Do you speak in jest?” Govinda asked.
“It is no jest, I am saying what I have found. One can pass on knowledge but not wisdom, one can live it , one can be supported by it, one can work wonders with it, but one cannot speak it or teach it. I sometimes suspected this even as a youth; it is what drove me from my teachers. I have found a thought, Govinda, that you will think is neither a joke nor foolishness; it is my best thought. It says: The opposite of every truth is just as true! For this is so: A truth can only be uttered and cloaked in words when it is one-sided. Everything is one-sided that can be thought in thoughts and said with words, everything one-sided, everything half, everything is lacking wholeness, roundness, oneness. When the sublime Gautama spoke of the world in his doctrine, he had to divide it into Sansara and Nirvana, into illusion and truth, into suffering and redemption. This is the only way to go about it; there is no other way for a person who would teach. The world itself, however, the Being all around us and within us, is never one-sided. Never is a person, or a deed, purely Sansara or purely Nirvana, never is a person utterly holy or utterly sinful.”
I feel there is, as Stephanie speaks, which bears repeating here: “beautiful flows and connections that He provides for us, so that we may see His hand in our lives”.
I have to agree with Siddhartha and Stephanie: The truth I’m seeking can’t be taught, only felt and experienced. AND I HAVE felt and experienced it, many times over. I need to stop doing what I’m doing, stop listening outside myself, quiet the noise and distraction and start listening to what God is trying to tell me.
I think when I do that, the unresolved things (even those beyond my crisis of my spirituality) will start resolving.
Thanks so much Stephanie, for the wonderful insight, and thank you everyone for the continued discussion on the post. I appreciate each and every voice, and I know you are here because you are meant to be here.