Saturday, February 12, 2005


Thanks to Maggi Dawn (whose site has just been added to my growing blogroll, along with the splendidly revamped Kinesis) for this moving poem, which is permalinked here.


Theologically speaking
I'm one of the awkward squad,
always asking questions
or questioning answers;
it's uncomfortable for all concerned,
especially me.
I wish it wasn't so;
wish I could tuck myself up in tradition,
snuggle down in certainty,
learn to trust,
but I don't know how
- don't even know what the God-word means to me now.
I do know love when I meet it though.
Oh yes, I recognise Love.

(c) Frances Copsey

I can't recall who said words to the effect that "as I get older, I find myself believing more and more in less and less." Copsey's verse calls this aphorism to mind. I remember once hearing the sentiment behind it dismissed as 'reductionist'. That misses the point completely. It isn't about erosion of faith, but the way faith finds sufficient reason to trust more and hypothesise less. Sufficient reason, but not too much... or too little.

This astringency of the mind and openness of the heart is, again, what Lent is all about. I find myself again and again talking of the God of Jesus as being "beyond manipulation and beyond metaphysics". This "beyond" is not about intellectual evasion, as in the more careless or dogmatic forms of neo-orthodoxy popular among some younger theologians at the moment. It is about realising that, in St Paul's words, knowledge is first and foremost unfolded by love, rather than the other way round.

Believing is seeing, but it proceeds by way of a dark, murky luminosity. Or as a songwriter I know put it, half by accident, I suspect: "Look in the light of what you're searching for." Just accept that the light may not be what you think it is.

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