Monday, April 7, 2008

My Sacred Image

Continuing my short break from posts about MS, this is a piece I shared with my UU fellowship last Sunday...

When I was little, my parents built a cabin in the Laurel Mountains in Western Pennsylvania. If we were there on the weekends, we would go down the mountain to Holy Trinity catholic church in Ligonier. This is a very nice, small-town, Catholic church. Behind the altar there was a huge, larger-than-life-size painting of the holy trinity taking up the entire wall. There was god the father, beneath him was god the son, and above them both was a dove with wings outstretched and a communion wafer in its beak.

Well, god the father looked stern, god the son was handsome but didn’t comfort me, and I didn’t understand why I was supposed to worship that bird with a vanilla wafer in its beak. I would study that huge painting and wonder about the images and which image talked to me. None did. The image of god as a man is just too small for me. I feel that the divine is so much bigger.

After church we would go back up to the cabin on the mountain, and I would feel something much larger and much, much more powerful than any image in that wall painting in the church. I would stand on a rock at a particular peak in awe of the mountain with its beauty, diversity, timelessness, patience. I felt a huge presence of a single power, a single source of creation, creativity, support, love and hope. It was larger than anything I could imagine. And it spoke to me. And it comforted me.

And it still does.

I have since traveled to California and saw the dramatic cliffs at Big Sur, and to Europe where I saw the Alps. I've seen the Rockies, the Cascades, the Appalachians. I visited Mount Saint Helens after it erupted, and the volcanic mountains of Hawaii while they were active. Each time I didn’t see just rocks and soil; I saw the sacred, the divine.

I saw god.

photo credits: MINE! Mt. Ranier (above) and Mt. Hood taken from an airplane in 2001.


1 comment:

  1. EXCELLENT!! Best non-MS entry you've written!!!