Tuesday, June 4, 2013

“God is God” and that is all I know!

There is a very intensely personal blog. I took it word for word from my daily journal, into which I try to make daily entries. On this occasion I reflected on God and death, intending that it might be read some day by my children and grandchildren. It may be too personal for you and I will understand that; yet I was pleased with the end product in my journal and thought I would post it here.
by Charlie Leck

I’m reading a little book called “My Bright Abyss” by Christian Wiman, a poet has lived most of his adult life not believing much in the possibility of God (whoever/whatever that is). Then he found out he had a pretty serious case of cancer and would move rather quickly toward death. He began struggling with questions of God and Faith. It’s an all-right book. Frankly it is beautifully written and I’m enjoying a lot of the references to poetry. However, it doesn’t build a sensible logic for establishing a God-Being. It rather establishes an Either/Or standard (a Kierkegaardian concept that I won’t go into here). I have trouble with it. Wiman, reveals himself as a man struggling with coming to grips with this question before his death. As I move down that path toward the end days, I’m not so concerned. In fact, I don’t care. I don’t want the idea that there is a God to be a determining force, influencing how I live my life. I shall live it as courageously as I can and as kindly and productively as I can, and let matters of faith and God take care of themselves.
Wiman writes of one of Wallace Steven’s poems, Sunday Morning, and quotes this portion of it…
“Complacencies of the peignoir, and late Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair, And the green freedom of a cockatoo upon a rug, mingle to dissipate The holy hush of ancient sacrifice.”

Wonderful! Beautiful!
Wiman goes on to say that Stevens believed “…we cannot see life clearly except through the lens of death, but that once we have seen it with such clarity, we can savor it.”
I’m not sure it is so. I can only imagine that life seen through such a lens would be intensely personal and there would be many imperatives cast upon the view. I don’t subscribe to such an idea.
I cannot put myself in Wiman’s place. Though the train is running quickly down a final plunging plane for me, and I don’t care to worry so about questions of Faith now that life’s end may influence the colors and contours of it.
It comes to this for me… God is God! I have no idea how great God is! Nor do I have any concept that would allow me to visualize or describe God. Humans have wasted too much time trying to imagine up a God. In death I shall discover. I will not, however, be able to share the discovery with you, my children, nor describe the wonder of it. And, you would not want me to; for that would destroy the surprise in-store for you.
God is God!And we humans are too weak of mind and understanding to perceive this God in our lifetimes. I think, Jesus, that fellow and brother who wandered through Galilee so long ago, gave us some sense of hope; and that is all I have.
It matters not to me. I shall lay me down to my eternal rest and if that is all there is – and that is my guess – I shall count that God and find enormous comfort in his arms.
Do not fret over such things but “git along” with your life and live it kindly. As for me, I like the Galilean wanderer a great deal and I choose to listen to him and commit my life, as well as I can, to follow him (though I often find myself lagging awfully far back and I need constantly to implore myself to keep on “gitting”).
I tell you this much and it is all I have: “God is God – and that is all that matters!”
We can only imagine more and write psalms and poems about it. That, however, is more than I wish to do. All you need to know is this – that in the end I shall lay me down in the arms of that great God knowing I have tried very strenuously to be a good and loving man. I failed countless times, as you will, but that shall be a matter, then, only for God.

I so admire the poems of Dylan Thomas and I like particularly this line...
“They are only dead who did not love…”
And read Thomas’ poem “No Man Believes” if you would be stood straight up about this belief in God thing…
“No man believes who cries not, God is not, Who feels coldness in the heat,…”“No man can live Who does not bury God in a deep grave And then raise up the skeleton again…”
And the Thomas poem called “Death Shall Have No Dominion” is triumphant as it sneers at death…
“Though lovers be lost/lovers shall not..."  
And I agree with Shakespeare in Measure for Measure
“If I must die I will encounter darkness as a bride, And hug it in mine arms.”

I am remembering a Joan Baez tune in my head and it is that which inspired the title for this blog.

“But I believe in God, and God is God!”


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1 comment:

  1. When the time comes, and I hope it is later rather than sooner, God will open his arms and say, "Welcome home."