“Where in the world is God?”

People are looking in the wrong places.

God is the still small voice within.

God is the voice of compassion,
the light of love,
the expression of kindness,
the seeking of peace,
the humility in one’s soul.

God is found at the edge of suffering,
in the presence of purpose,
in the loss of fear,
in the endless quest for goodness,
in the expression of caring,
in the presence of healing,
in the longing for wholeness,
in the discovery of oneself.

God is present in the endless striving for right and what is just and in the search for truth.

God is alive in a baby’s cry, a person’s laugh and in the never ending life force igniting the road ahead.

(From Free Believers Network site, quoted from Rabbi Allan)

The poem resonates with me as I too tend to associate the tangible presence of God with the still, small voice that engenders compassion, love, kindness, peace and humility. In that sense, I feel the presence of God the most in a relatively quiet and meditative environment. Yesterday, while I was walking along busy roads downtown and passing by some construction sites, the loud pounding noise of the machinery was jarring to the ears. It was as if there was dissonance with my soul and I felt unease. I was reminding myself God is still present everywhere except that I found it hard to feel the presence of God in that kind of environment. While I believe all things are in God and God is in all things, perhaps the essence of God is manifested where healing and wholeness, where suffering and fear is relieved and where goodness and caring is felt, like what the poem says. Yes, it is found in the discovery of ourselves in the quest of what is true and just, and the aliveness of God’s presence in us and with us is in that which inspires us and makes our spirit soar.

It reminds me of this poem or song I came across some time ago:

“I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows.

And I believe that somewhere in the darkest night a candle glows.

I believe for anyone who goes astray someone will come show them the way.

Yes I believe, Oh I believe!

I believe above the storm the smallest prayer will be heard.

I believe that someone in the great somewhere hears every word.

Every time I hear a newborn baby cry or touch a leaf or see the sky,

Then I know why I believe.”

(Words & music by Erwin Drake – Irvin Graham – Jimmy Shirl – Al Stillman)

Video information

Watch video of Rob Bell, author and founding pastor and pastor emeritus of Mars Hill Bible Church, discussing his new book What We Talk About When We Talk About God March 14 at Vanderbilt University.

Bell is the author of the New York Times bestseller Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, as well as Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith and Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality and Spirituality.

His lecture at Vanderbilt is part of the new Chaplain’s Lecture Series, which will bring speakers who can give insight and meaning into what religious life is on a university campus. The event is co-hosted by the Office of Religious Life and the Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership in the Professions.

To learn more about Vanderbilt, visit http://www.vanderbilt.edu.

In this message, I like the example Rob Bell gave about Jonah in the Old Testament who was told by God to preach the gospel to the Assyrians to show them his redeeming love. It is evident of the progressive knowledge and understanding of God people have over time. Today, we are still witnessing the progressive understanding of how good, loving and universal God is, and I believe the development of quantum science and the spread of Internet in recent years could well be part of God’s plan to unveil more of his goodness and love to speak to a new generation in a way we can understand and relate to.

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