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Stories Of A Magical God


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My wonderful neighbor friend often shares stories with me about God working in the world. Recently she shared one about her son giving his last $20 to a homeless woman and then securing a surprise odd job that paid $20 - God certainly has a sense of humor.

 

When I hear such a story, I cringe theologically, but my heart smiles. I still like stories of the magical God, of miracle healings that happen because of prayer. I love that my neighbor and other friends attribute these mysteries to God. When I talk about God working in the world, it would be more likely that I would talk about the kid giving his last $20 to the homeless woman and stopping at that.

 

It surprises me that a cynic like me gets "holy goosebumps" about God magic and these stories warm my heart. Anyone else?

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Interesting question. I'll be honest - I'm tolerant of such things, but how tolerant depends on my mood. :D Some times I can find people's faith in the God who intervenes in everybody's daily lives with miracles and messages kind of charming, other times I have to put on a big fake smile and nod, thinking to myself, 'the same God who did not prevent the Holocaust decided to lighten up the rain so you could get out of your car to the store without getting wet?'

But the 'magical God' does encourage a mindfulness in people, to observe even the most mundane things in life, does it not? And that's not something I'm very good at myself.

 

Peace to you,

Mike

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To me, Life itself is magical in the sense that much that happens has no really logical explanation. Whether that homeless person gets the $20 or whether he doesn't it is magical to me. I see the world as a unified whole operating in perfect harmony beyond what we call logical thought. I have witnessed what people call miracles more times than i can remember and it is indeed something that can give you "goosebumps" , put one in awe, and defies our concept of what is normal. Life is a magical occurrence everyday. Whether one is open to see the magic in every moment is questionable, but that it is magical, is to me, within, a most obvious thing.

 

As Mike, i am tolerant of people who only see God in acts of perceived good. Myself, i see God in all things regardless of perception. I also smile and nod without contempt, knowing that eventually a different revelation will come to all in the fullness of times.

 

Love in Christ,

Joseph

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I like what both of you have said here: I think the "mindfulness" Mike speaks of is what I had in my head but wasn't able to put into words. I was intrigued by what Joseph said about God not only being in the things that are perceived as good, and the fact that the whole world is is unified in perfect harmony beyond logic. That, Joseph, is something that I hope to believe, but I am so disturbed by what we percieve as suffering and enmity in this world. I need to learn from you. How do you hold onto that thinking when you watch the evening news at night? I want to be able to see the magic in every moment.

 

I guess that was what I was getting to when I posted the question. Sometimes I feel fake if I don't correct another person by saying "Well, sometimes prayer doesn't work out the way people hope, and they just have to feel the presence and strength of God with them to go on with a new reality. I'm glad your situation worked out for you, but how would you have handled it if it didn't?" To me, I'd rather not sound so crotchety, and instead focus on the "mindfulness" and the fact that God can be revealed to different people in very different ways. It is a very lucky person, indeed, who believes that God is pulling the strings for them because their life is easy.

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I like what both of you have said here: I think the "mindfulness" Mike speaks of is what I had in my head but wasn't able to put into words. I was intrigued by what Joseph said about God not only being in the things that are perceived as good, and the fact that the whole world is is unified in perfect harmony beyond logic. That, Joseph, is something that I hope to believe, but I am so disturbed by what we percieve as suffering and enmity in this world. I need to learn from you. How do you hold onto that thinking when you watch the evening news at night? I want to be able to see the magic in every moment.

 

(snip for brevity)

 

Janet,

 

To me, it is not something to believe or not believe. It must be seen spiritually and is only subjectively experienced. It cannot be seen in concepts or thoughts. It is known at the deepest level of your being already and need not be taught. In Christ is hid all knowledge and wisdom already. It is not something you have to read about. It is re-discovered (so to speak) in stillness and silence, free of thoughts and beyond thinking. One doesn't make it come. When conditions are ripe it surfaces of its own accord and is known without doubt. That is all i can really say.

 

Love in Christ,

Joseph

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Janet,

 

To me, it is not something to believe or not believe. It must be seen spiritually and is only subjectively experienced. It cannot be seen in concepts or thoughts. It is known at the deepest level of your being already and need not be taught. In Christ is hid all knowledge and wisdom already. It is not something you have to read about. It is re-discovered (so to speak) in stillness and silence, free of thoughts and beyond thinking. One doesn't make it come. When conditions are ripe it surfaces of its own accord and is known without doubt. That is all i can really say.

 

Love in Christ,

Joseph

 

Thanks! I will wait for my time, then. Right now my sense that the world is not right and that God wants it to be is the motivation for much of my social justice activity in my life. It is my love for God and wanting to see God's kingdom come. If it were already here, I would just sit and enjoy!! :)

 

Janet

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Thanks! I will wait for my time, then. Right now my sense that the world is not right and that God wants it to be is the motivation for much of my social justice activity in my life. It is my love for God and wanting to see God's kingdom come. If it were already here, I would just sit and enjoy!! smile.gif

 

Janet

 

 

That is good Janet,

 

It seems to me that you are exactly in the right place at this time.

Perhaps it is already here but unrealized and when it is you would not be doing anything different than you are now. smile.gif

 

Perhaps, In Christ, self is dead that Christ may live. Perhaps, One has to lose ones life to find it. No?

 

Love in Christ,

Joseph

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm not quite sure what I think about a“magical God.” On the one hand, it bothers me when I hear peopleproclaim their prayers answered or are angry because they aren't. Iconsider myself to be a relatively reasonable person. If someonewere to say things like “God punished them all with the weather fortheir sin,” or “God has rewarded me for giving every cent I ownedto the church, even though it meant my family would suffer,” Iwould certainly cringe, if not go ballistic.

 

Yet, I also believe that we live in amagical world. It seems that we are wired to participate in andinfluence our universe in a deeper, “non-physical” way. When Ifeel like I'm interacting in this deeper way with the universe, Ifeel as though I'm interacting with that which I call “God.” Enter, the “magical God.”

 

Hence, not sure what I think.

 

 

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XianAnarchist,

 

Can you give examples of participating in /influencing the universe in a deeper, non-physical way? I'm thinking about that more and want to understand better...

 

I LOVE when I hear prayers answered like, "I've been trying to learn how to be more patient with my husband and God has answered that by showing me...."

 

I would be horrified by the person who thought someone was punished with bad weather. I would need to know more about that person who gave all their money to the church, knowing their family would suffer!! Are those real examples?

 

Janet

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XianAnarchist,

 

Can you give examples of participating in /influencing the universe in a deeper, non-physical way? I'm thinking about that more and want to understand better...

 

I LOVE when I hear prayers answered like, "I've been trying to learn how to be more patient with my husband and God has answered that by showing me...."

 

I would be horrified by the person who thought someone was punished with bad weather. I would need to know more about that person who gave all their money to the church, knowing their family would suffer!! Are those real examples?

 

Janet

 

Sure, I can tell you a bit about what participating in and influencing the universe in a deeper, non-physical way means to me. Thanks for asking.

 

Several years ago, I was sitting in myliving room on a saturday morning. I had decided to spend some time in contemplative prayer. After a while, in the midst of the silence,I heard a friend of mine call out my name in the darkness. The sound seemed very distant and yet very near (which made it even more odd). My friend lived in the southwest and I hadn't talked with him on the phone in over a month (I lived in Rockford, IL). My sense was that something was wrong, but I didn't quite know what to do with the experience. Within an hour he called. It turned out that he hadcommuted to Portland and found himself in a critical situation. We talked about it, and I convinced him to come stay with me for awhile. I don't know exactly what all of that was about, but I like to think of it as being let in on a bit of info that would be significant later. Hopefully this conveys something about what I mean when I say participating in something deeper.

 

Regarding influencing the world in which I live, I guess I believe that we are all called to work to make the world a better place. The call to feed the hungry, speak for the silenced, and other compassion/justice issues are in my mind the call to make the world a better place in a physical way. We are physical creatures and meant to influence our physical world. But, I guess I don't believe that we are limited to influencing our worldonly in physical ways. I like to believe that as we project our hopes, dreams, and aspirations into the universe that they influence (in a nudging way, not a determining way) how things happen. I call this activity, of course, "prayer" (or at least one form of prayer). I don't "know" whether this actually "works," whether I actually make a difference in this way, but I find it interesting that quantum physics is sometimes brought up as affirmation of of such possibility.

 

In an attempt to tie this all together, I'll refer back to my original story. According to this framework, in my above story, it is possible that what I experience was my friend reaching out to me through the numinous dimensions of life with his desire for help, a desire that reached me before he did. Or, it might be the result of a magical God tapping me on the shoulder, pointing me in the right direction, and actively drawing my friend to me for help. Or, it might be that two close friends had somehow formed a psychic connection in the quantum dimensions ofreality in a way that reshaped time and space to bring us together ina naturalistic, non-theistic way. Or, maybe it was just a coincidence, and I make more out of it than I should in order to make myself feel good.

 

I don't have a solid explanation for such circumstances in my life. All I have is my experience and my sense of what they seem to possibly be. Ultimately, the nuts and bolts of it all remains a mystery. And I'm good with that.

 

Regarding the illustrations I mentioned, they are actual scenarios...somewhat. I've heard people indicate that disastrous storms are punishment upon areas for their acceptance of homosexuality. More recently, Pat Robertson said that the earthquake in Haiti was the result of their pact with Satan.

 

When I mentioned giving money to the church, it was hyperbole based on a story that was told to me by a friend of mine. When he was in high school, his friend went to an Assembly of God church. As I recall, he said that his mother gave generously to the church, to the point of doing significant financial damage to the family. Standing on the sidelines and watching the institutionally encouraged (demanded?) destructive behavior led himto absolutely despise the church. While I can't verify the story, it's not the first of its kind I've heard. Indeed, according to a mother of a daughter who was going to that church (I believe it was that church) at one point, they actually required (that was the way it was described to me) that members show their tax forms so that the church knew they were giving at least their full 10%.

 

Okay, gotta wrap up. Time for me to split. Later!

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  • 4 weeks later...

I don't really think of God as being "magical". But I see the magic he creates that goes unobserved. For example: the frost on the ground during winter, the early morning dew in spring, the falling leaves I have to rake, into a pile for my niece, every autumn, and the snow covering the front steps making them indiscernible from the ground. They add sparkle and shine to my life, and it makes me feel like God is sort of winking at me.

I see God's magic in the sparkling eyes of people laughing, in the thunder, lightening, rain, and wind that accompany a storm.

God's magic is in more things than can be named. Like the resourcefulness of a two-year-old, and the death of a loved one. His magic is there, we just have to be mindful of it (Easier said than done.).

I will post another bit of, what I see as, God's magic as another topic.

 

Catch you latter,

Kyler.

 

P.S. I apologize if I seem to have gone off topic.

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