A Terrible and Beautiful Presence

UU minister James Ishmael Ford on his belief

In my youth I prayed to know God. I prayed with complete earnestness, with the fullness perhaps only a youth can muster with a deal. Show me your face and after that you can kill me. I meant it. And I was met with silence.

Many years have passed. Today, by most conventions I’m an atheist. That is I do not believe in a human-like consciousness that directs things. In a universe of uncertainty I come as close as a human mind can to certainty that there is no deity that acts within history.

And, within my experience there is something. Sometimes I call it presence. Sometimes I call it love. I suspect I know the grubby roots of that love, how it arises within my mammalian consciousness. But, it seems to have a larger existence, as well.