God rid me of God

There's been a number of tectonic shifts in my spirituality over the last few years. Much of my journey of faith historically has been within the charismatic evangelical tradition. But, like a river opening into a delta, I've been broadening. I've been reading and thinking and praying, and I've been influenced by other traditions - other 'streams' of Christianity. Sometimes, perhaps often, it's felt uncomfortable as I adjust and reconsider things. Re-experience things.


Occasionally I encounter something different, I 'hear' something that seems to be sung in a different 'key' to my present portfolio of theologies and understandings and conversations and wrestles. These new 'streams' or 'keys' have included much older traditions, like contemplative spirituality and some forms of mysticism.


A friend recently shared with me a performance piece which struck a chord with me. It's by Joel McKerrow based on Meister Eckhart - the German mystic of the 13th and 14th centuries. There's something about this piece's honesty: it's like a confession of truth perhaps many of us didn't know was true about us. It's a stripping back of certain things that feels really compelling, authentic and inviting to me. It leaves me feeling both scared, and safe.

I share it with here in case some of it inspires you to tread amidst some unknown waters, or perhaps to sing another song altogether.



God, rid me of God.


God, rid me of God.


Of the smallness of that which I comprehend.

Of the arrogance to believe that I

see clearly

That these answers

could be just another notch on the belt

of my own insecurity.


They may help to hold up my pants but they’ll never let me run free.


So liberate me from the idolatry of abstraction.

That I would be radically undone.

You are unknown

even as I know you.


You are at one and the same as close as my skin

yet as far away as the moon on some other planet on some other day.

So I still feel your breath on my cheeks

And I know you but I don’t know you

I can see you but I can’t see you,

Your transcendent immanence.

Where distance and closeness are two sides of the same coin.

So would you let me keep this coin in the pocket in my chest and sometimes

I take it out and flick it in the air,

but it never lands to show me where you are,

whether near or far.


So God, rid me of God.

God, rid me of God.


Of the names that I write on your forehead,

for they’re not the reality, the totality of you.

They would better be scribed upon my own, for that is what they are.


And I can see you now but only through glasses thick with lenses embedded with colours painted from the years of my own understanding.

The world around me becomes what I perceive it to be.

I do not see you as you are,

I see you as I may be.

I am in bondage to these things that I think I know.

My idols are my understandings set in stone.


So stay liquid God even as I try to freeze you into my moulds,

especially the one that looks just like me.


Your water in me,

all around me,

may I be a sponge on the bottom of the ocean lost

in the expanse of you.

The mystery of God is looking into the sun,

to be undone by the radical excess of light.

So that even as I see you my eyes are blinded by you

and this light is undefinable yet undeniable

and I am left to delve into the knowing of the unknowing

where the light is so bright the mystery is found in the fact that I cannot look lest I go blind.


So leave it all behind.

Leave behind the machinations of the intellect.

Leave behind the senses and all things sensible.

Beyond reason. Beyond rationality.

The fullness of God dwells in inaccessibility


Leave it all behind that thou mayest arise by unknowing towards the divine.

Until we find the places where the paths of our stories fall back upon each other.

And here where the webs of the weavings come together with such care

the waves of the wind may pound against us but they’ll never break us.


So this thing called God is not a thing at all,

not a theoretical problem to be solved,

but a mystery to dance within.

So take my hands within yours and we’ll dance to the rhythm of her beat,

my feet may stumble as we do as I,

enclosed in the captivity of these senses,

peep through the blinds of this window and yet shut down the curtain in fear that I would be lost in the expanse of you.


So God, rid me of God.

I’ll not seek to define you again.

I’ll not speak of you again

in words that are not metaphor,

that are not these poetics where similes drip from my tongue

to speak of that which cannot be spoken.


God, rid me of God.


Till I find you in the silence of my breath.