What Do We Mean When We Say God?

(Compiled by Mrs. D. Sullivan in 1991,
sent to the Mission by Radah)

If I am the sail, God is the wind. If I am the cloud, God is the sky. If I am the roots, God is the tree. If I am the thought, God is the manifestation. If I am the sound, God is the word. (Bryce Bond, Age 61, New York City) (p. 110)

Some days He comes in the form of a phone call from a loving child checking to see if Mother is all right. Other times, He appears as a neighbor administering a special favor. Sometimes, I have seen Him in the smile of a stranger who seems to have found the secret of having joy in a crazy world. I not only see Him in the good every day, but I see Him most when disaster strikes and friends you have never seen before are helping friends they have never met before. I had rather live believing He exists and die to find out He doesn't than to not believe and die, only to find out He does! (Fern Daily, Age 57, Whitewater, California) (p. 111)

The Jewish notion of God is not really explicit, perhaps because we do not believe that God ever took human form or walked the earth. When I try to speak about God, I think it is often to share my perplexity. I often cite the parable from a children's textbook about a little fish. One day he is swimming close to the surface when he hears somebody talking about the water - only he doesn't know what is meant by water. He wonders: "Where is the water?" So he swims around and asks all the different fish, "Where is the water?" but they don't know. Finally he finds the wisest fish in the ocean who says, "The water is all around you. The water is inside you. The water travels through you." But the little fish just laughs and swims off. To this day he is still asking, "Where is the water?" (Robert Kirschner, Age 39, San Francisco, California) (p. 98)

It's like a hologram. God is the spirit behind every one of us - although we think of ourselves as separate beings. Like a hologram, His total image is in each of us. Each fractionated part still shows a picture of the whole. (John Gale, Age 44, Columbia, South Carolina) (p. 86)

An atheist's most embarrassing moment is when he feels profoundly thankful for something, but can't think of anybody to thank for it. (Mary Ann Vincent) (p. 51)

I believe in the sun even when it isn't shining, I believe in love even when I am alone. I believe in God even when he is silent. (Jewish refugee, World War II, Poland) (p. 27)

Letter to humanity and their leaders

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