It’s interesting to name God, to theorize about God, to talk about God. But it’s even more precious (and interesting) to experience God, marinate in the Presence, Feel God, and to Go Beyond the Name. THE NAME is really all life and that which is beyond life. As Arthur Waskow says, The Name includes the colors, the frogs, the sounds, the earth, all of us, the sky, anything we can name is The Name.
Today some of us sat together in exploration of how God shows up in our life, where we have longing, and where we are right now. One word we explored was SURPRISE. At first I thought that was an Interesting and Fun name for God. Again, another word for God. But then it happened.
It was Shabbat. The services were lovely, but I was feeling a bit restless, wandering in the back so as not to disturb. I connected with a kindred spirit and we were chatting, as people are not invited to do during prayer. A bit rebellious, even mischievous.
Then the leader said, “Mourners Kaddish”. I came to attention moved forward so that I was clearly standing in community and began the recitation for both of my parents, gone now 6 and 4 years, who died on the same day.
Someone ran up to me and gently put his hand on my back, giving me full attention. He recited the responses that the Kaddish calls for by those not saying Kaddish I thought it was a close friend, someone who knew the importance of this time. It was not. It was someone I don’t know well at all. I thought I would have recoiled from someone touching me at that very private/public moment. But instead I started to cry and cry.
That was SURPRISE.