Windows to God
There are many “windows to God” – many ways to experience, to image, to “see” God. Some of us have allowed our window to God to become cloudy and dirty, full of cobwebs of childish conceptions. Others of us have made our window to God very narrow, thus limiting our understanding of God’s mercy and grace. Still others of us have refused to open our window to God to allow the fresh winds of God’s spirit to enter our lives. And most of us have had only one window instead of finding and using the many windows to God that are necessary for us to grow as Christians.
The window of scripture. The scriptures give us many images or ways of seeing God. Included in these images are Heavenly Father, judge, mother hen, a spirit, Creator, Redeemer, an eagle, a shepherd, a woman seeking a lost coin, and the many other words or phrases that provide us windows to God. To fully allow scripture to assist us in our understanding and experience of God, we must study seriously and prayerfully. Individual words or phrases do not tell the whole story. God’s story started with creation and continued throughout the exodus, exile and homecoming of the Israelites; the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus; and the establishment of the early church. This drama or unfolding story of God must become a part of our being, a part of our story.
The window of prayer.It is through prayer that we become joined with God, thus gaining insights into God and ourselves. It is in prayer that we respond to God’s grace, and connect over and over again to God’s love. Prayer can take many different forms and can be done at any time or place, but prayer must take place to develop and strengthen our personal relationship with God. This relationship requires time and clear communication. As with any relationship, we must involve ourselves in sharing, listening, meditating, risk taking and searching. Open wide the window of prayer for a clearer picture of God and God’s will for your life.
The window of love.Love of God, love of self and love of neighbor were put together in one great commandment by Jesus. All three must also be combined in our lives to fully accept and use God’s gift of love to us. God is love, and it is through the window of love, that we fully experience God. When we resist loving ourselves, we are withholding from ourselves God’s love. When we do not love our neighbor, we have not fully learned the meaning of Christ’s message. It is through God’s love we are given salvation. It is through loving we can care for ourselves and all of God’s creation. It is through loving we learn to accept love from each other. It is through the window of love we God at work in our world.
The windows we have to God are simply that. They do not describe, define or limit God. They are simply ways we and others have or can experience God. They are handles of becoming more open to God in our lives and growing in our faith. Open wide the windows!
[Adapted from “ResponsivelyYours”, January 1995]
Joyce D. Sohl, Laywoman-in-Residence
Joyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, quarterly retreats, and art exhibits.