Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Where is God?

In one of my daughter’s religious class, her teacher gave the assignment to take 10 photos that represent how the students see God.  It created a lot of discussion in our house including a mini-debate between my 12-year-old and my 6-year-old.  My precious daughter, who at five told me that when people die, they return to heaven with the help of God’s long arms, now was contemplating her God assignment and struggling with his existence.  I think that she does believe in God but in her “Welcome to Adolescence phase,” this voicing of her doubt is one of the side effects.  It was hard to watch her struggle and yet I enjoyed having this very grown up discussion with her. 

Of course, it got me thinking about how and when I see God since this use to be a question that frustrated me as well.  I started to recognize the moments where I “feel” God and have thought about it as if I have received a slight push in a certain direction.  I often use the phrase “by the hand of God” when something significant happens.  

·         Feeling lost in my early career life, I got pulled towards the Jewish community.  My job ended in the entertainment industry and I took this opportunity to jump into the Jewish community.  I didn’t know anyone, but knew that I was not alone and that I was ready to work on behalf of the community.
·         I met my husband at a random evening at my synagogue which he had never been to but his friend invited him.
·         The birth of my children
·          When my father passed away the doctor called the time of his death at 2:18pm. My birthday is Feb.18 (2/18), so when he doctor called out the time of death, I took it as a sign, some spiritual goodbye from my dad. 
·         During some very sad and trying times in my life, I have found synagogue to be a place of comfort.
·         In times where I was at my loneliest and yet, somehow was not alone, I felt God’s presence.
·         In meditation
·         When I write
·         When I’m doing good for the world
·         There are no coincidences, so all those moments of surprising connection have a divine element.

As I get older, the presence of God is more real and felt more often.  It is peaceful, guiding, and comforting.  This lesson from my daughter’s class reminded me of how God is present in my life.  While I thought I was helping her with her homework, it spilled over to offer me a moment of gratitude for all that is spiritual and good in my life.

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