Trying to write about God ties my words up in knots. Ì write a sentence, then press delete it because the words I’ve used don’t say what I’m trying to express. God is so mysterious. Just when I think I might have a sentence or two that might just wrap up some deep God truth, they drift away like smoke from a chimney and I’m left with nothing. But I need words, and at this stage of my life I have found comfort and a measure of God understanding in the naming God Sophia, Wisdom
To name God Sophia is to dig deep into the Old Testament, to move away from words and images that call to mind male power, assertiveness and strength. For those of us who have tired of God images which don’t recognise more personal qualities such as love, empathy and creativity, naming God Sophia comes with the breath of new life. Sophia moments, God moments, are tucked away in the ordinariness of everyday.
This week I took a sticky beak look at a Costco store. Everything about it was big, overpowering, some of it was tempting, but . . . I was reminded of this story by Anthony de Mello. A woman dreamt she walked into a brand new shop in her local shopping mall and to her surprise, found God behind the counter. “What do you sell here?” she asked. “Everything your heart desires,” said God. Hardly daring to believe what she was hearing, the woman decided to ask for the best things that a human being could wish for. “For myself I want peace of mind, happiness, wisdom and freedom from fear, and I want my children and my grandchildren to be good Catholics.” God smiled. “I think you’ve got me wrong my dear. We don’t sell fruits here. Only seeds.” Definitely not Costco style!
I’m a point and click photographer and intricacies such as light and distance are beyond me, but I would like to share my bottle brush photo with you. We live among the ever-changing green of gum trees and this annual splash of red is a delight and maybe a reminder, too, of more sombre things.
Colour me red, passionate God, for the anger of the oppressed, for those who hunger and thirst for justice and peace and for all who labour to give birth to love.
Every month some women I know meet to talk about what’s going on in their lives. It’s mostly ordinary stuff with an extra-ordinary edge. These women are serious about their spirituality. They are women of prayer, sometimes formal, more often the kind that punctuates a day. Without exception, all of them live with a creative openness to the needs of others, whether it’s family, friends or the wider community. There is something about them that feels like freedom – as though their attention to God’s voice as they hear it, their acceptance of life as it unfolds has set them free to recognise their inner truth. I call them Sophia women.
It’s taken a long time, but my book is nearly there! The editing process is completed, even though I’m still not sure where and when capital letters apply or a dash replaces a comma, but I bow to the editor who knows his grammar. It has a title and a very nice photographer has given permission for me to use a picture taken in the Victorian high country. I’m looking forward to sharing more news with you as the move to publication speeds up.
May you find traces and echoes of Sophia in your day.