What would it look like to speak to others as though they were God?
Would you explain eternity, life, and love to God? Or would you stand in the presence of greatness, understanding he knows all these things and probably, only has a gift to give you, so the only thing left to do is receive?
I’ve spent much of my life and time and energy missing this. Thinking I had something to explain and teach the other about the mysteries of it all. Little knowing that this very way of thinking was closing the door I was intending to open—for seeing god in the other is the only mystery love invites us to experience. This, above all things, seeing god in each other, may be the sole reason our souls are here in the first place.
And so I practice observance. For love invites us to have curious eyes that ponder royalty in wrong-doers, beauty in betrayers, friendship in the faithless, and love in the lifeless.
For god is in our least.
And when we can see god in the ones hardest to believe, we’ve found something…everything.
And there, standing in front of god, we’d all assume he contained every answer, every dream, every love, the entirety, and we’d simply ask for strength and mercy to contain it all.
And perhaps the final step our hearts are waiting for us to take, is to do this same thing with each other. To stand in each other’s presence assuming the other knows and contains everything. There’s nothing to teach, explain, understand, extend to one another, for neither party lacks an ounce of life, of love, of god. And, perhaps, then, when we grant and extend this assumption to one another, we find there is no where the spirit is not present, for, as long as we have each other, we are always in the presence of greatness.
Perhaps when Jesus prayed “that they would be one as we are one,” this is what he has talking about.
Perhaps when John said “when we love one another, the love of god has become manifested…” The Greek work here for manifest is teleos. It’s where we get telescope from. It means fully extended, fully seen. That when we love one another, we find that something comes close. Something that all the singing and worship and prayer and study can only see from afar, comes close, zooms into view, and shows itself fully. This writer also says “if you don’t love your brother, the truth is not in you.” But if we do, this truth becomes fully manifested.
Many of us spend much of our time looking for ultimate reality, answers, divine connection, enlightenment, god’s presence, in every other way and place then each other’s presence.
This is the final piece, and maybe, the only piece.
Maybe this is what the Christ meant when he said “A day is coming when no one will need to say to his neighbor ‘know the lord,’ for they will all know me, from the least to the greatest.”
Maybe the key words here are ‘least to the greatest.’
Maybe this doesn’t come about through force, evangelism, or one religion dominating and taking over the world with its story, or even god himself showing up and telling everyone once and for all “the truth.”
Maybe this comes when the sons and daughters of god finally see god in each other.
And this doesn’t always come with proof.
I mean “Christ died while we were yet sinners,” right?
He saw something good in us before it ever flowered.
He treated us according to the royalty and beauty and dignity we all already had, for we are all offspring of god.
Maybe this is what creation is groaning for.
Maybe this is why it was better for him to leave—for even in his absence he knew how difficult it would be for us to only give our lives to God and not to each other.
And so we can start before we see proof or evidence or any god-likeness according to how we see it. We can start by honoring one another as a child of god, a person who doesn’t lack a thing, who isn’t lost, who isn’t broken, who’s perfect and whole and family regardless of how they pray, talk, worship, eat, smoke or vote.
Maybe we start by giving each other the benefit of the doubt—that we are divine, included, perfect, messy, eternal, beings of love and light.
By accepting each other exactly as we are—children of god, growing up, on our way to becoming something unexplainable and imaginable.