We’ve spent a few weeks in these posts, talking about how different images of God produce different emphases in our spiritual lives, and call us to walk different paths on the spiritual journey.
I conclude this series of posts, with some thoughts on how thinking of “God as Dirt” fundamentally changes how we experience love.
We live in an “if-then” world. If you do this, I will do that. If you act this way, I will love you. If you do these kinds of things, I will reward you with those kinds.
It is a conditional world, and we have been trained to reinforce its “conditional-ness.” We reward or punish one another according to our behaviors.
…Treat me this way, and it will go well for you.
…Treat me that way, and it will not.
But in one arena, we still hold out the expectation of unconditional-ness; that is, in our view of the unconditional love of God. When we speak of God, we usually speak of a love that is not earned; not won; that simply is.
However, though we say those words, when ours is exclusively a “person-like” image of God, it is difficult to feel that way. People don’t love without condition, so it’s hard to imagine a person-God does.
But if we set aside the Person-image of God, and think instead of Divine Love as a nutrient in which we are rooted, it’s not hard to image at all. Divine love is like potassium in the soil. To a plant, it “just is.”
When we think of God as soil, it helps us feel Love’s always-present nature.
For millennia, our tradition has insisted that there is an intrinsic worth in each of us that is not earned, not won, that simply is. When God is the soil in which we are rooted, that just makes sense. Worth becomes unquestionable. Rooted in Divine Life and Divine Love, we exist by drawing worth into our being.
We are precious. We belong.
We can no more unroot ourselves from Divine love than a bean stalk can unroot itself from the garden. The garden, the soil, the nutrients are defining realities.
God is love, and you and I are rooted in Love and worth.
My 12-Step friends have a saying: “if your god isn’t working for you, trade him in and get a new one.” It seems scandalous to Christian ears at first blush. However, when our “person-god” gets in the way of unconditional love, it becomes time to trade him in for a new one!
“God as Dirt” is as good an image as any.
In this case, decidedly better!