Mariner was watching the PBS News Hour the other day when the broadcast did a piece about the immigrants coming into Lesbos, a large island belonging to Greece. One of the locals in the video was an Eastern Orthodox priest, Father Christosoros, who was very receptive of incoming immigrants and was a leading helper organizing them and arranging shelter and food. All of Lesbos, in fact, has done the best they can for the immigrants despite an overwhelming obligation.
Father Christosoros, in an interview by the PBS reporter said, “How we see people is how we see God.” It reminded mariner of the years when he was a pastor and had the responsibility of assisting parishioners in seeing and knowing God in their lives. It still affects his conversation on occasion.
When you think about it, it is a difficult task to incorporate God – or any universal but not physical authority into one’s own very empirical existence with five senses and four dimensions. How can two such different entities coexist at the same time?
The Eastern Orthodox priest had it right. God is not directly a separate thing. God is experienced as part as one’s own ability to accept the reality that God provides. God’s existence can only occur as a result of your actions. Do you see sanctity in every individual? Do you feel a need to show a superior force spawned by respect, caring, and empathy that will easily assuage the difficulty that confronts others? Do you not judge or harbor feelings that separate you from others? The Bible is thick with comments that suggest if you take care of others, you will be taken care of. That’s about all you can ask, though oddly, the rewards of representing God are addictive.
Most literal, highly regulated rules about your relationship with God are antiquated in their presentation. They were formulated in past ages where knowledge, science, and culture were not as aware as they are today. Today, each of us knows the bottom line: Each of us has a responsibility to nurture compassion and empathy as key parts of our personal value system. In the present millennia, this commitment to expressing God’s values through our personal actions has become critical. Have a link to God’s URL – it is critical to our existence.
Just a kudo for PBS. Watching the PBS News Hour has double or triple the insight into the world situation as the plastic, viewer share driven news channels elsewhere. If mariner can watch only one news program, it is the PBS News Hour.