A Loving God

Bell Favakeh

How will I ever know a loving god? When you’re raised visioning their hand entwined with fire and brimstone this promise of love seems foreign. “God is love” always seemed more like a condition than an unwavering truth. As children we are okay with conditions, we are okay with not questioning the rules. However, as we grow and begin to see beyond the black and white of life those rules become difficult to follow.  

I don’t follow the rules. Am I loved by God? Do they forgive me? It’s easy to find every example you need that a loving god couldn’t exist. You can watch it on the news, or see it in the way someone has treated you or how you have treated them. Hate and anger bloom on this earth.

If God is love, why is there hate? Why do they let such harmful things happen? How can they love me? These questions live in the back of my heart and rouse themselves awake when a new tragedy strikes. When I find myself taken hold of by the stress, anxieties, and pains of this life, I retreat to yoga class.

I could go into the spiritual hug that is a yoga class, but that is another story for another time. At the end of class, the teacher says “Namaste”, we reply “Namaste” and the room falls silent as some lay there a while longer while others gather their things and leave. “Namaste” means the highest in me recognizes the highest in you, some say it means the light in me recognizes the light in you.

These were the only two ways I had ever heard it defined until recently when I read Glennon Doyle’s “Love Warrior”. Doyal says in her book “My heart sinks when Allison bows to the God in us”, Doyle is talking about the end of the yoga class, her Namaste moment. “The god in me recognizes the god in you”; I knew those words were powerful but I didn’t fully feel the weight they carried.

A few nights ago I was lying awake in bed, unable to sleep because of the annual Full-Moon-Funk I tend to be susceptible to. The question of the legitimacy of a loving god was buzzing around my mind when I had a moment of clarity. I love, I forgive, this part of myself, is this the “god in me”? My highest self that is love and forgiveness acknowledges your highest self that is love and forgiveness. If the statement “God is love” has any truth in it,  the most accurate thing I could say would be the god in me honors the god in you. The Love in me honors the Love in you. The light in me honors the light in you.

If I can still love in this tortured world, then that is from God. If I can still forgive in this hurting world, then that is from God. Leaving behind everything I see, when I look inside myself I can see Love, and because of that Love in me, I understand that it is from the Love that is God.