Where is God in this? Who is God in this?

So my previous post is all under the question, "Does adulthood always feel like this. . . " That post, wallowing in self pity, and struggling with vocation and identity is an honest reflection of where I am. But I think the question I need to keep asking myself is:

Where is God in this? And WHO is God in this?

My undergraduate theology thesis was about how God is in the shit with us (entitled Holy Shit) and that God is present to us in all the shit of life, weather it is grief, anger, abuse etc, and if we allow it turns our shit into manure. From this, we can not only grow new life but also nourish the new life that we grow. In this paper is had some metaphors of how we can at times be spiritually constipated- where we aren't processing our griefs, angers, abuses etc and there are times when we can have spiritual diarrhea where we are trying to deal with everything at once, we want answers, we want manure RIGHT NOW!

So I have several new thoughts about this. The first one is that I need to remember that the shit of life is not just the big trageties. Though that is a time when many people are asking the questions, "where is God?" It is also in the ordinary challenges and daily struggles that the shit of life is around. . .

My second thought is that when I look at where am I. . .I think I might be in the diarrhea category. I am longing for a solution right now. I wanting to have a comfortable job, the right feeling, a cozy sense of peace, and a balanced out life right now- I want to know -RIGHT NOW- what all this means for my life. . . what does being pregnant, being newly married, being in a job that isn't right for me, being in love with a garden, all mean? Right now I want to know how to I actualize it and bring it to be giftedness in the world and for me. . .That seems like I might be wanting a lot all at once.

The ultimate "good news" of the thesis is in hope- the thesis of this paper and of all my theological views are that no matter where we are God is with us. God is desiring to be present to us: even in our ordinary stresses, irritating coworkers, unmet values etc. This I need to absorb and let in. . .

Third, I am finding that in my vivid imagination I must picture God. . .because just calling God "he" is totally unhelpful for me (in fact it is destructive). . . So I am not going to answer this question right now "Who is God?" Because I need to wrestle for a bit. But I am moving towards imagining God within, or God as wind, or even as sunshine. . .abstract but kinda real too. . .

As with both of the questions "Where is God in this" "Who is God in this" I must keep asking and searching. In the asking I think God shows up. . .


  1. Puh, slap me over the head with a newspaper if I haven't totally been dwelling along the same thread of questions over the last few days...in a very hard-core way.

    One of my favorite spiritual stories is about a monk who is faced with a young child at the gate of his monastery abandoned. He brings the child in and says "ahh, so this is my challenge." The monk raises the child for some time before a parent of the child comes back in full grief stating that they made an error and are now fully prepared to love and care for the child. The monk releases loving custody, and while the child and parent walk away he stands at the gate and says again "ahh, so this is my challenge..."

    I was addressing invitations to my wedding the other day and all of these things, little things, kept pushing the mail-out time later and later (the most frustrating one: I forgot to include the time of ceremony anywhere...whoopsie!) and I was grumbling about the time it took for the whole process, time that couldn't be spent learning how to bake bread or write or paint or any of these other things I thought would bring me peace. Then, I started to notice that with each name I addressed memories of these people and how they had affected my family with acts of love in the past and had molded and inspired my today-self. I thought of the story of the monk, but decided I wanted to make a change...instead, my mantra could be "ahhh, so this is my blessing."

    If I try that for a while, will that bring me closer to inner joy??

  2. So much of what you've said here resonates deeply with me, Rachel: I have been struggling very, very deeply with where I am, and what it means to be here, and trying to walk this line between claiming my own place in this Church and form of discourse that I do desperately (want to?) love versus giving up and saying, "Yes, fine. You're right. You can define what it means to be Catholic, and I'll just leave you to it and go elsewhere (where?)." But all the while feeling unable to actually struggle with any of these questions, because I know that I am in an objectively good situation, for which I should be grateful... So you have my solidarity, friend, and my heart, though I can offer you nothing else.

    I do look forward to seeing you next month.


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