For many, when they answer this question, they think of faith and conversation with God as some huge intellectual leap. I personally don’t believe it is about finding your way to intellectual belief but about finding your way to loving action. Do you want to start the conversation with God? This is how: start the conversation with your hands, not just your brain.
What does that conversation look like? Recently, an older member of the congregation I pastor needed some help—help which led to the following post we put on Facebook:
“Interested in lending a hand to someone in need? One of our parishioners needs to have shoulder surgery this Friday. She lives alone and needs someone to go with her to the hospital and wait while she has surgery. She won't know until later in the week what time her surgery will be scheduled for but predicts a morning appointment. Comment below or send me an email if you are willing to help out.”
Several people volunteered. Two are now willing to keep her company before and after surgery. Three are bringing her meals for dinner the week after. As Christ said, “Where two or three are gathered there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).
In the end we don’t think our way into a new way of acting; we act our way into a new way of thinking. Or as Emanuel Swedenborg held it, "Actions do not flow into the will and thought, but thought and will flow into actions" (Spiritual Experiences 4013).
Those caring acts are where love, wisdom, and useful service combine into the triad that is the very breath of God and spiritual life. I imagine those folks sitting with her before and after surgery. There will be awkward silences, maybe a few words that feel forced, but over time, given the love that is present, a spirit will gently settle there. That is the conversation of God.
"Everything proper to our minds, to our volition and discernment, is enclosed in our actions or deeds, much like the things we can and cannot see in a seed, a piece of fruit, or an egg. The actions or deeds themselves may seem to be nothing but what shows on the surface, but there are countless elements within them." (Divine Love and Wisdom 277)
Rev. Chuck Blair is pastor of NewChurchLIVE in Bryn Athyn, PA