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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Marginal God

"I have not dwelt in a house from the day on which I led the children of Israel out of Egypt to the present, but I have been going about in a tent under cloth." 2 Sam 7:5

The bible is filled with God's revelations, but we too often fail to listen. When David finally stopped to think about his relationship with God, he realized that because he had been so absorbed with reestablishing God's reign among the Jewish people, he had forgotten God's home among the people. Wanting to correct his failure, he soon learned that the God for whom he wanted to build a home, was not the God of revelation. 

God could be found, David learned, but not where he expected. God tells the prophet Nathan to remind David that he has always been a nomadic God, a God of the margins, a God of the poor. Though he seemed to be stable among the Jews in Egypt, God knew his chosen ones were enslaved, and led them out of bondage into the desert where he wandered with them for forty years. Homeless, God, the Good Shepherd, tends his flock wherever they go and like his people, lives in a tent. It is clear that if we want to find God, we must look among the refugees, the sick, the homeless and he broken. More difficult still, we must accompany them wherever they go despite the cost.

Pope St John Paul II knew this truth about God and from the first moments of his papacy left the Vatican to visit and accompany the poor all over the world. Pope Francis, affirming John Paul's insight despite his age, is doing the same, but because of the need to provide him as a head of state with security, we can miss the point. Traveling on his own plane with dozens of companions and the press, we forget that Francis wants us to see him as a nomadic Pope reaching out for the forgotten, trying to remind us of the God who is always among us no matter how lost we feel.

Today, look for God in the darkest places of your own heart.

Have you ever found God among the broken and despised?

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