August 14, 2013: God Disguised As Me

~by Louis Templeman

God is not some superior being within a galaxy of beings. He is not some old watch maker who wound things up and let them run on their own as he drifted uninterested into retirement. God is not our competitor. Some feel that to glorify God is to demean the value of humanity. Life is not a game of God’s intelligence and leadership versus humanity’s.

In fact, God is most often enjoyed, understood, and discovered within his creation. He is imbued within all his creation. Our poets seem to know this:

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age . . .
The force that drives the water through the rocks
Drives my red blood . . . .
~Dylan Thomas

God is indicated within his creation however, he is not his creation. He is beyond comprehension and apart from his handiwork, but he is not distant. In all creation God found welcome except within the proud deceitful heart of men and women. God desired to be found there also. Why? He is love and he especially loves that part of his creation that he refers to as his children. Love seeks to love. Love begets even more love. Love loves loving what will love back.

Through the life and work of Jesus God found his way into human lives. What does doing his will on earth as it is done in heaven mean but that he intends his love to invade and expand within the human experience. To live in this way is living at the deepest level of reality.

God is praised when we enjoy his creation. However, it is even better for God to be displayed within the lives of his lovers, his children. God in me allows me to develop an eternal strength and increase my value to myself and to my world. God in me will not obliterate my personality.

Saint Augustine was known to say as he administered the body and blood of Christ in Holy Communion, “Behold what you are. Become what you receive.” God is closer to us than we know. I will never be God, but God may choose to display himself within me. Since I am “the least of these” it goes that whatever you do to me you do to him. Blessed Saint Theresa of Calcutta called this “God’s distressing disguise.” It does not distress God. More likely, it distresses us.

Meister Eckhart said, “The spiritual life is not so much climbing the mountain to the distant God as sinking into God.” I suppose he means like a wick sinks into a candle. Together they make a beautiful flame. Saint Irenaeus once wrote, “The glory of God is man fully alive.” God expresses himself in the beauty, truth and power of the visible world.  As part of that visible creation he finds welcome in our lives and happily expresses himself through us, in us and as us.

Speak to Him, thou, for He hears, and Spirit with Spirit can meet  -
Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet.
~Alfred Tennyson


Louis writes from Jacksonville, Florida where he lives with his old friend and wonderful bride, Joy. They transformed their friendship into the sacrament of marriage on August 30, 2012. They share their home with two self-absorbed, playful, twin cats (Flo and Jet) and one very allusive and arrogant cat named D.

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