Monday, April 04, 2005

45. Belief

(Interrupting the story.)

"If God is unable to listen to us, then we are insane in talking to Him."
--Heschel, "Man's Quest for God," p.62

Half asleep, trying to extend the nice, long day and push away worry for awhile until I wake up too early a few hours from now, I might as well try to explain how I think of God.

I like Judaism because you don't have to define God in order to remain a subscriber in good standing. You don't even have to believe. But I didn't connect with Judaism on any but the most superficial level, and that filled with guilt and confusion, until I understood that I did believe. The leap from not knowing to knowing happened in a second, barely perceptible but absolutely provable, like those Natural Geographic films of a flea jumping from one hair to the next. It was the difference between feeling alone in and feeling in partnership with the universe, between hearing my voice echo and hearing it in harmony, or even in cacophany; in either case, it was not alone. It was an understanding that the things I could not possibly understand, beauty and goodness as well as evil and tragedy, the mysteries that are opaque at their smallest and most basic level, like one strand of DNA that creates a genius and the one right next to it a miscarriage, were in their most terrible incomprehensibility proof enough to me that something else big was going on. And my existence was part of the process. The rest was God.

It has been a big relief to find the language to articulate this awareness.

1 comment:

Glory said...

The last 3 sentences of your main paragraph are perhaps the most moving declaration of faith I've ever read. Thank you.