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  • Issue 48:
    Who is my Neighbor?

  • Issue 49:
    Revealing Our Glory

  • Issue 50:
    Everyday Spirituality

  • Issue 51:
    Transformation

  • Issue 52:
    Spirituality of Music

  • Issue 53:
    God and Politics

  • Issue 54:
    Gracious Christianity

  • Issue 55:
    The Good Book

  • More issues ...


  • I Believe ...

    Jo Ellen Kanne


    "I believe in God, the Father Almighty."

    How many times have we said these words? For me I think it has hit the 1000+ mark, and that is just the times I've said it as part of a church service. But what do I see when I say these words that describe my faith? So here is a walk through the beloved Apostle's creed in my eyes, with the pictures made with words as closely as I can render them. I'm sure that this will show more about me than about the God I serve, but I hope that by trusting this to you, God will be glorified and you edified.

    "I believe." I call upon the power of these beings that I believe in. "God." God who is neither male nor female, for he created them both. Recently, I met a beautiful person who was inter-sexed, or has the anatomy of both male and female. She is wonderful in that my first thought is, "This is what I see God as." Like her - speaking in a man's voice with a woman's heart and a body of both. The Parent almighty. The single mom brushing a lock of hair out of her face calling after her 3-year-old holding her over-sized 1-year-old on a hip. The amazing earthly Father I have responding, "Yes, Jo" whenever I call for him. The proud pregnant couple showing off ultrasound pictures to anyone who will look at them. The Step-mom who welcomes her 5 almost grown children and their boyfriends and girlfriends in any combination to dinner every weekend.

    "Creator of Heaven and Earth." Wow. The stars out here in rural Minnesota are gorgeous tonight. I just stood and looked at them. Cassiopeia, Orion, Ursa, the Pleiades, the expanse of the Milky Way, they are my friends. I look up to them each night and thank God for creating them for me to look at and letting me be somewhere I can see them.

    "And the Earth." An image taken from space of our beloved planet. Storm systems swirling around the atmosphere. Great blue blobs of ocean spanning between rugged landforms. And all I really know is the deep rich black earth of a farming community. Corn fields being picked until midnight, groves protecting me from the coming northwest winds.

    "I believe in Jesus Christ." This ruggedly good-looking Caucasian guy with long hair and soft eyes filled with laughter fills my mind. He's my bestest friend. Sure along time ago he did some stuff, like dying under the Roman Empire, but that's not the Jesus I talk to everyday. Jesus is someone I can lean into and say today wasn't so good and he arches his eyebrows at me and says, "Oh? Tell me about it." Suppressing giggles of what I might consider a bad day. "And he walks with me, and he talks with me, and he tells me that I am his own." He loves me unconditionally. He's there to talk to when I don't understand what the other pieces of God are all about. He always listens and says not to be afraid of his father. And once in awhile, I imagine I can see him being the Prince of Peace and God-form that he is. And He is regal and elegant and powerful and everything. And I think, wow...my best friend is really, really cool. I can trust him to do anything. And Jesus Christ is My Lord.

    "I believe in the Holy Spirit." This is where I veer a bit more from mainstream Christianity. My Lady. Just like that. Two capital letters. My Lady. She is alive and well inside of me, and around all of us. She is God. I call her Sophia, and Wisdom and The Goddess, but most often My Lady. She has control of the tangible universe as I know it. She is a part of who I am and lives in and through me. When I pray, she must approve my prayers or I change the wording before I say them out loud. She connects me to everyone else in the world. Through trust in her I can do all things.

    Sometimes, as I think about her, I imagine walking into a forest, an enchanted forest with fey-folk and lightning bugs and gorgeous garden spiders and imps and gnomes all living there as clear as people in Times Square. I walk further on, led by a desire and wonder and awe to continue and not to stop seeing. And I come to a small clearing, and there on a large chunk of Gneiss (metamorphic rock like granite) she perches. She's human sized, petite with dark hair and eyes; Korean or Japanese oriental, but not entirely human. She is deeper than us, translucent like many of the spirits around me, but more firm and solid than any human can be. Her will is there, tightening and relaxing the very air of the forest with her breath. She is beautiful beyond my comprehension. And I worship her. But she is movement. And the moment merely is a moment as I end up back on my bed with no idea of leaving her knowing that she's inside of me.

    "I believe in the communion of Saints, the Forgiveness of Sins, The Resurrection of the Body and the life ever after."

    Communion of Saints - I think of taking communion with a small group, becoming one another through the sacrament. Being with each other in such a way that all that one knows, all may know as they have need. Only, this applies to all of everybody.

    Forgiveness of Sins - the good feeling of being absolved, knowing that all my mistakes have been taken care of and are of the past, only.

    And then the whole heaven thing which is another story all together.

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