Beliefnet
Fresh Living

rose_image.jpgA Fresh Living reader recently commented that she liked a post of mine up until the part where I spoke about praying to the Universe, and not Jesus. I don’t mean to single her out too much (we love when you comment even when we don’t agree!), because I’ve received several variations on that statement since I started writing for Beliefnet three years ago. This reader says it “dilutes the power” of God to call it Universe.

There are obviously so many ways to call a rose a rose or God, God. Plenty of religious traditions even consider it too sacred–and diluting–to spell or speak the name. I often find myself saying “God–for lack of a better word” when I’m trying to describe the essence behind the mystery of existence. To me “God” is a little too evocative of a disapproving white dude. “Goddess” also feels limiting–gives me unpleasant flashbacks of living at the Womyn’s Center in college, “Divine” feels vague, “Jesus” too specific (and I’m half-Jewish), even Universe is a little mushy to me. But that’s the whole point, I suppose–describing the indescribable, specifiying the everywhere is tricky business–at least for those of us who don’t believe in God in a traditional Judeo-Christan sense (though scratch the surface of that “tradition” and you will find a zillion variations within).

I mainly wanted to bring this up to start conversation–civil, respectful conversation (don’t make me pull this car over!) about what you call God. What word(s) feels most right to you?  

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