I slip outside the door and make my way across the field to the old oak tree gracing the front yard of my late grandmother’s farmhouse.   It’s massive trunk and  branches, heavy with green, stretch-out in the blue afternoon sky.  The tree offers me shade and I settle myself onto the weathered wooden swing, tied securely within its sturdy branches.  Feet scuff against the worn patch of sandy dirt and I push-off, leaning my head back to see the dappled sunlight peeking through all that green above me.

I swing peacefully amidst the shadows and light. Cool air blows gently across my skin and brushes wisps of hair away from my face.  I sense God’s presence while pondering my faith in this God who is not wholly visible, and yet makes His presence known all around me.  I know that not everyone experiences God in the same manner.  Over the years, I have had the privilege of developing friendships with persons of various religious faiths and denominations different from my own:  Evangelical Christian,  Catholic, Mennonite, Jewish, Native American, Unitarian,  even Atheist.  While Christianity is the religion that I know and choose to embrace, I can honestly say that, if I am open, I  appreciate the beauty and truth in these differing perspectives.  God. The Universe.  Mother Earth. The Light.  Higher Power. Energy.  While our culture and beliefs regarding God vary in both large and small ways, we  acknowledge the presence of a greater power beyond ourselves.  And, we all recognize the vital importance of demonstrating love and acceptance in our relationships with others.

I believe in God. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  And in believing in God, I am opening myself-up to the mystery of God himself.  It is my prayer that I am able to see and know God in all His fullness, even if means lifting the veil that separates Christianity from other ways of seeing God and allowing myself to stand in wonder.