Sunday, April 10, 2011
Where God is
Gary Moon asks: We are asking where God is when He is all about us and within us. But why is this? Why do we seem to need directions to a place when we are already there?
Jim Finley replies: Yes, and let me give an example of how this happens in psychotherapy. Often in therapy someone will start to talk and begin to open up about his difficulties. I ask him questions about what he is saying and attempt to form a bond of genuine empathy with him in his suffering. As the person and I go on in this way, there begins to grow in me a sense of oneness with this person in his suffering. I begin to get a sense of how much courage it takes for him to open up like this and how hard it is for him to go through whatever it is he is going through. As this process deepens, I begin to sense we are on holy ground together. Now, this person and I were on holy ground together from the first moment he walked in the door. But it wasn’t until I entered into the process of opening myself up to the depths of his presence that I was able to become aware of that. Simultaneously for the person in therapy, he was on this same holy ground with me from the moment he walked in the door. But it was not until he began to open up, to trust, and to become vulnerable with me that he was able to begin to sense he was on the holy ground we all live on all the time as precious human beings.
In a similar fashion, the same process occurs in intimate relationships, in prayer, and in meditation. The process is one of learning not to keep skimming over the surface of the life we are living. It is learning not to continue in the momentum of moving on to some goal other than where we actually are at the moment, the momentum of being on our way to someplace else. The process is one of learning to slow down, to settle in, to open up, and enter into the interior richness of what’s really going on. As we do so, we begin to discover the ways God is already present in the hidden depths of the present moment; it is just because we were skimming along across the surface of what is happening that we were unable to know and rest in that presence…”
James Finley, Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God, A Conversation with James Finley, pp. 20-21.