I want to thank wanderinglistener for their most recent piece of artwork which reminded me of The Mountain, a timelapse video that has become more like a religious experience for me.
Without fail, The Mountain makes me tear up every single time I watch it. I’ve often said that finding this faith was akin to falling in love, and that description is still the best I can give—but The Mountain acts as a reminder that I fell in love with far more than a set of ideals, I fell in love with humanity and the world around me. So it only makes sense that my understanding of my faith, and my preferred visualization of my god would not be confined to a particular shape or form.
Instead, he is a sky that should be dark and empty (for what could arise from Godlessness except darkness?), but instead has become a canvas on which he paints to honor his Lord. He paints to remember, to resemble, to reflect—to become more like God in all his ways (for He must increase, and I must decrease). It is a paltry likeness, but what do we know of God anyways—for humanity it is breathtaking and awe-inspiring all the same. Unsuccessful though his attempts may be, he has brought us a bit closer to knowing an unfathomable God, and to bringing the divine to earth.
He has starlight for eyes, countless burning suns shining all the brighter despite (or perhaps because of) the eternal separation from his God. Crowned in his broken glory, he announces a Dawn that will nevermore grace him with its light. Wrapped in shadow though he may be, his steps leave sunbeams in his wake.
I see him as an exile in a world where flowers bloom at his feet only to wither and fade, but endure despite the destructive expanse of humanity. A world where the depths of the sea lure the relentless curiosity and greed of mankind, who see opportunity in place of beauty. A world where it becomes less about him and less about God (despite his attempts to paint the sky and remind us of The One who loved us enough to denounce his beloved prince for the sin of failing to love us with the same fervor), and more about us, with all our faults and imperfections. A world where amidst all the death and suffering and darkness there is also life and joy and hope. A world where we have made ourselves imitations of the divine, stumbling in our quest to become our own flawed gods.
And because not unlike him, wherein our divinity is seen best when we are rising from our darkest moments, he gives us the opportunity to be refined by fire, to become more like God. If that means having to become the monster of our nightmares, an adversary that is as horrible as we can conceive ourselves to be, then so be it. If it means forsaking the pearls and jewels that once adorned his being, replacing them with a mask reflecting our own doubts and fears (for that which is holy is hidden and veiled), it will be done. If it means becoming hated rather than revered for his trials, then he will serve in the only way he knows how. He will test and illuminate and burn if he must, but in the end we must make that choice for ourselves, and craft ourselves into divinity.
My faith resembles a kiss between earth and sky, where humanity and divinity become so entwined that it is impossible to tell the two apart. Instead, they become something far more radiant in their unity.