I don't believe in a God up in the sky
who sits in heaven and never hears me cry. I don't believe in a God who's far away —
I believe in Jesus living here with us today.
I don't believe in a watchmaker above,
set this world going but now is not involved, who from a distance is watching as we fall — I believe in Jesus' God who suffers with us all.
I don't believe in a God who keeps a shop,
who checks each item and puts a price on top, who wants a dividend on each investment made — God is always giving and refuses to be paid.
I don't believe in a tyrant on a throne
who wants to punish us for every wrong we've done, who keeps a tally of each mistake and crime —
God wants to have mercy on us
each and every time.
I don't believe in a patriarchal chief,
a judge who never had mercy on a thief,
the Lord and Master who must be waited on — God is mother-sister just as much as father-son.
God is beside us, God has no other home,
no other family, we are God's flesh and bone; He-She is with us and with all humankind — loving his creation always occupies her mind.
This song was sparked by a book called "Redemptive Intimacy" by Dick Westley. It's a journey into faith, or from one kind of faith to another. For me, it was a book full of resonance - "Yes, that's right. That's how I feel!" etc. I was pleased recently to see the book quoted by another American Catholic writer, Brennan Manning, in "The Relentless Love of Jesus". It's in the first chapter, 'Healing our image of God and ourselves'. I'm writing this the week after our city was visited by a major American evangelist. I wish that people could have heard Brennan's message instead. There certainly seems to be plenty of scope for healing. My understanding of God continues to change and develop, but I'm surprised again and again to find myself back at the place where I first started. "Version 1.0" I had thought was a bit jokey, but maybe it was more serious at the same time. [“...we do not believe in God, that mythical being who sits on a throne in a far-off perfect land. Nor do we believe in the Monster-God, who lies in wait to punish us for mistakes and crimes.” Westley, p.85 'Redemptive Intimacy’]
Last Monday, November 19, I got back home after a 4 week trip, mostly in Queensland.Only possible because of
He's been my driver for the past 7½ years, for trips to Victoria, ACT, NSW and Queensland. He likes to label himself as 'Ray the Roadie', but he's a lot more than that. For the churches & schools I've sung at, we both set up the sound gear - the amps, guitars et al. He then retires to a back seat, while I sing & play. Afterwards, at schools, we take the gear down together. But at churches, he looks after the gear, while I talk with people & sell CDs & books. We get to stay with people most places , & we both love meeting people, enjoying their terrific hospitality.
This trip was his swan-song. I know he's enjoyed the driving & meeting people, but I still don't know how to say thank you. In his modest, self deprecating way, he'd reject the label of 'Servant of Christ', but he's been that for me, & together we've been able to serve people in many places.