The Mathematician


My observation is that life and the planet seem to have a kind of perfect mathematics to them which reveal, to me, a God.  I no longer believe that the God is anything like what we write about or talk about or picture in stained glass just as I would not expect a toddler to be able to describe with accuracy, the design and workings of the skyscraper at which he sits playing with wooden blocks.  And yet I have compassion for his desire to try to describe it and his utter failure to be able to do so.

Clergy do love to be sure.  It is their job security.  They love to preach and tell you about a mystery as if they know much more about it than that toddler knows about the skyscraper whose cornerstone serves as a support for the little castle he is building with his wooden blocks. I no longer believe in the church but I do passionately believe in God, in the Holy Spirit and in Jesus.  And I believe in them because I communicate with them and they with me.  True, we communicate the way Einstein might have communicated with a jelly fish…big eyes, a gentle hand, garbled voices beyond the surface.  But it is enough not to feel alone and not to feel that there is no order, no purpose.  For indeed there are both.  And, and there is tragedy, abuse, failure, disease, house fires, car accidents, addictions, and even senseless acts of violence and revenge at the international, national and personal levels.

So no.  I am not sure.  But I am convinced.  And being convinced is a very different thing. It is faith.

I begin, in an hour, a long and arduous pilgrimage to the sacred Isle of Iona on the western coast of Scotland.  I’m recovering from Pneumonia and a devastating few weeks, so the next 36 hours without a bed may be challenging.  But at the end there will be friends to hold me and love on me, to make meals for me and tea…lots of tea.  And in a week I will have finished my third book, sent it to the editor for publication and will set my way to the Island over land and the two ferry trips.

On that island’s beachside cemetery I will drop a stone I have brought from Denver and from it I will turn to pick up another stone which I will carry with me and then back home.  Please pray for me as I do for you.  Pray for my healing and for the carpenter, the fairy and the master mathematician to greet me there and spend time with me.

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