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The Yearnings of a Priest/ess

Suzy is an ordained Interspiritual Priest with the UAIC-Not Your Grandma's Church! She holds an M.Div. from Claremont School of Theology.

Photo by the author

Photo by the author

Deep Faith

There is this strange emotion that I feel when I see people on television shows and movies sitting in a church having private time with God. The old churches, the stained glass, the cross; the ornate, the simple, the humble.

The faith so deep, so pure. I feel the emotion and I wish that I had that kind of faith.

Yet, I know that I do have this faith. This deep faith that is in the God in whom these people seek solace. I know this God.

Photo by Vera Kratochvil, CCO Public Domain

Photo by Vera Kratochvil, CCO Public Domain

Simple Faith

What I see portrayed in these faithful characters is a quality that makes me a bit jealous. That quality is a simple faith. It's a faith that is not encumbered by politics. Yet, oh how we know the church has been encumbered by politics for so long.

When I see the people in India at the temples, bringing offerings for puja, dancing joyously, playing instruments, and singing chants, I feel joy and a sense of loss, as if I were missing the kind of celebration that they bring to their worship! I see the people and I feel the emotion and I know that I feel the same, that I know their God, for theirs is the same God in whom all other people find such deep and profound faith.

This faith, too, is a simple faith, without prejudice, without politics. Yet we know that this religion is political, too.

Image from Pixabay; no attribution

Image from Pixabay; no attribution

Simple Ways

When I read the words of the Buddha, and those of his followers from both the past and present, I feel a sense of peace. I feel wistful that I do not have such profound peace in my soul. I feel this, and in a moment, I recognize that I do have this sense of peace. I know this relationship with All That Is, and it is simple. Without politics.

When I read the words of Jesus, I know that his Way is also simple. It is simple to love. Yet we who choose to live in Love are faced with politics every single day, for those who work against such simplicity are powerful. We are forced to make Love political.

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"Christ et Buddha" by Paul Ranson circa 1880

"Christ et Buddha" by Paul Ranson circa 1880

So Many Ways

Yes, my faith is easy, but the way I live it out is not so simple. I find my religion to be filled with various reflections of God. Goddesses, Gods, Prophets, Seers, Bodhisattvas. Stained glass and brass bells, crystal bowls and crystal stones, crosses, pentacles, and ankhs... So many different ways to reach across the span between this world and the next, between the veil of our living and the veil of the Otherworld, between awake time and dream time. So many ways to pray, and so many ways to meditate.

So many ways of ritual, so many ways to hear the Voice of God.

Sometimes I yearn to sit in an old Cathedral alone in the silence and feel the Presence of God, as if I knew no other way.

Sometimes I want to dance on a path of flowers and cry out, Shiva! Shakti! Ganesha! Give me a boon!

Sometimes I yearn to stand alone in the storm and call Kali! Freya! Give me strength! Give me power!

Sometimes I dream of walking alone in a velvet cape, casting blessing-spells. I, the local Witch, with familiar cat at heel, calling upon the ancient Gods of her Celtic and Nordic past.

" Dance of the Hour" by Joseph Tomanek (1889-1974)

" Dance of the Hour" by Joseph Tomanek (1889-1974)

The One Who Has All Names

Always, no matter what name I call, no matter what I pray for, I know that I will be answered by the One Who is All That Is. The One with no name, Who is the Universe, Who is the Quantum, Who is only One. The One Who is neither male nor female and yet is both and all genders. The One Who has no name, but Who has all names.

Because of this, I cannot have a regular church. Because of this, I cannot have a building where I go each week to preach and serve. Because of this, I am a priest without a home, finding ways to serve in the community and providing Rites of Passage and prayers of many kinds.

I know this, and yet sometimes in my heart, I simply want to don a stole and stand before a congregation and praise God by all Their Names!

"Contemplation" line drawing by the author, 1990

"Contemplation" line drawing by the author, 1990

© 2022 Suzy Jacobson Cherry

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