Act as if there were No God

Here’s a sneak peek at this weekend’s “Highland Views” column:

“When to Act as if There Were No God”

Stories from Christian, Jewish and other traditions, guided my work as a chaplain. I believed each person I met could be “God in disguise.” At some point though, I began to wonder if this was a good thing. Wouldn’t it be better to see this person, here and now, for who they are, accept their humanity, listen to their suffering, not imagine a divine presence? Might it not be best to look this person in the eye, listen deeply and be fully present for them?

Photo:  In my street chaplain days, with beret and guitar

Categories: ministryTags: , , , , ,


  1. Hm…are these 2 approaches mutually exclusive? Can we trust the mystery as we companion one another, or must we define what is happening?

    • Hi Lorna, thanks for commenting. I don’t think they’re necessarily exclusive approaches, but one imposes a particular belief system, and perhaps image, upon another. The most popular example is Mother Teresa’s “Jesus in distressing disguise” approach toward helping poor people in India.

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