Naming God

I have a favorite spiritual practice of noting every time I hear or see or encounter a name for God. This is not the same thing as a "names of God" Bible study that tries to make sense of Hebrew phrases like "El Shaddai," though such studies can be helpful. What I search for are names not necessarily inherent to the biblical text or church liturgy but nonetheless get at this mystery we call "God." I look for words or phrases that stir up something in me that has been seeking to put language to my experience of the Divine that is in fact beyond language. I love this practice because it helps orient me to the broader and deeper and more beautiful ways I have come to understand and experience God. As I continue to encounter the Divine in new ways, sometimes I find that the names and metaphors I've been given (in Scripture, in church, etc.) struggle to hold up under the weight of embodied experience. It's not that they cease to be true; it's that they cease to be sufficient. So I continue my search for words and phrases that, when I find them, move within me like a powerful wind, signaling that I've gotten close to glimpsing just a bit more fully who God is:

The Ultimate Ancestor

All That Is

The Really Real

That Which is Beyond Knowing but not Beyond Loving

The Ground of All Being

Holy Mystery

She Who Dwells Within

Mysterious Other

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