BELIEF: Radical Openness by Christian Wiman

Meditation of a Modern Believer

Radical Openness by Christian Wiman

From My Bright Abyss

The frustration we feel when trying to explain or justify God, whether to ourselves or to others, is a symptom of knowledge untethered from innocence, of words in which no silence lives, of belief occurring wholly on a human plane.  Innocence returns us to the first call of God, to any moment in our lives when we were rendered mute with awe, fear, wonder.  Absent this, there is no sense in arguing for God in order to convince others, for we ourselves are not convinced.

The spiritual efficacy of all encounters is determined by the amount of personal ego that is in play.  If two people meet and disagree fiercely about theological matters but agree, silently or otherwise, that God’s love creates and sustains human love, and that whatever else may be said of God is subsidiary to this truth, then even out of what seems great friction there may emerge a peace that – though it may not end the dispute, though neither party may be “convinced” of the other’s position – nevertheless enters and nourishes one’s notion of, and relationship with, God.  Without this radical openness, all arguments about God are not simply pointless but pernicious, for each person is in thrall to some lesser conception of ultimate truth and asserts not love but a lesson, not God but himself.

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