The G-word

What do you feel when you read the word “God”?

Here, try it.


I’ll tell you what I feel if you tell me what you feel. 🙂

I feel a male presence.  I feel something above me.  I feel a little nervous and maybe a little stressed.  I feel like I’m about to be told what to do.  I feel rebellious.  I feel angry at the belief in God that has caused so much suffering.  I feel like it’s an empty word.  I feel like it’s letters on a page that are supposed to do something for me that it isn’t doing.  I feel my intellectual mind say, “no.”  I feel like a non-believer.

For the longest time in my work as a Cantor, I have avoided the use of the word God.  In my Temple we have all kinds of ways to refer to the direction of our prayer and gratitude without using the “G word.”  In some ways, I really appreciate this way of thinking.  It invites us to consider a concept that is beyond a name or an outside force.  It invites us to fully pray and participate without having to believe in anything.  It invites us to allow our history, our present, our future, our relationships, our natures, earth’s nature, our passions and our compassion to be the focus of our energies.

But I miss God.

Sometimes I need someone to talk to, and I don’t want to or truly can’t use words for what I need to say.  Sometimes communicating with another person isn’t what my soul is calling for.  Sometimes I need to get outside and inside of myself simultaneously.  Sometimes I need my breath to carry thoughts out of me and then carry some answers back in.  Sometimes I want to feel a hug from the universe, or an encouraging push, or a shoulder to cry on that comes with complete acceptance.  Sometimes I want to be understood when speaking only with an emotion.  Sometimes I just want to say thank you.  So, I look to God, without really knowing or caring whether or not there is one, because it really doesn’t matter.  What matters is that I was able to connect.

So, what if we could take all of the baggage out of the word God?

What happens if we think of God as…

… a mother who can hold us the way we remember being held as children.

… a lover who can remind us that we are beautiful.

… a warmth that can surround us like a patch of sun on a cold day.

… a friend who can make us laugh and put it all in perspective.

… a mentor who can help us figure out who we are and where we are going.

… a daddy (let’s stay away from the word “Father”) who can run around the yard with us, allowing us to feel joyfully safe.

With those images in mind, I try to resist my instinct to run away from the word, and I say, “Thank you God.”   Thank you God for allowing my children to be as healthy and happy and interested and interesting as they are.  Thank you God that my body works well.  Thank you God for the fact that I have choices.  Thank you God for the fact that I am lucky enough not to live in fear.  Thank you God that my husband and I are still together after 21 years.  Thank you God for my home, for my talents, for beauty, for the 5 senses, for joys and sorrows.  Thank you God for all the complicated magnificence that is life.

Thank you God.   I know my hands are Your hands.  My eyes are Your eyes.  So, I will look for goodness in all people and places and moments, and I will use my hands to help this world be healthier and kinder for all peoples.



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6 thoughts on “The G-word

  1. Thank you so much for helping me make a stronger connection to G-d. Your timing could not have been more perfect as I just heard of my sister’s passing tonight. I need the strong connection now more than ever and I was having difficulty making that strong connection on my own. Thank you for this gift! You asked on FB how you could be of help…Your job is done ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you dear Diane for Your wonderful and inspiring words and for your bold insight. You have inspired my day in a way I cannot describe to you right now. Suffice it to say, your words have touched my heart. Thank you dear friend. Wishing you many blessings on this day! Beth 310-266-7498


    Liked by 1 person

  3. God – it’s so sad that the word has suffered the bad actions of those using IT’S name. But its true. I have felt the same ‘weirdness’ when using the word. But it is just a word- the TRUTH is what you wrote: The feeling, the IS, lies within each and everyone of us. We only need choose to see it and appreciate it- then it flourishes!
    Thank you dear Diane!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I LOVE this post! Thank you!! I, too, think of God as someone to talk to and give thanks to. I’ll never understand why certain things happen in the world while there is a God, but I think there is a God just the same.

    Liked by 1 person

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