Not in the ‘other worldly’ sense, the God who is removed and distant. For me, Transcendence means something hyper-real, something that saturates the ordinary, but which somehow connects us with the divine.
in a previous post I tried to define it like this;
… I mean the experience of God in the ordinary. The incarnation of the maker of the universe within the temporal, messy world in which we live and love.
Transcendent moments fill our lives if we look for them. And the more we attune ourselves to the looking the more we see.
They are everywhere in the natural world; sunsets, new leaves, mushrooms in caves, the lick of new born fur, the light of the moon on still water, the smell of rain on dry earth, the sea that goes on for ever. All these things will happen whether or not we are there as witnesses. But when we look in a certain kind of way a hollow space opens up in the middle of them into which we can meet with something transcendent. Into which we can invite/be invited by the living God.
They are everywhere too where humans also are. In conversations, in touch, in the longing for justice, in the decision to forgive, in the deciding to repay hurt with love, in the listening and in the laughing. Because God is a God of communion. God commands love, and love requires direction. Perhaps above all, the transcendent God is immanent when we come together in community.
They are encountered in art, because art can become a bridge to something beyond our business. Films, books, poems, paintings, sculptures, music.
They can even be encountered in church – for me, especially when we sing, when the chordal voices find the vault of the building and make it vibrate.
I have been thinking about what all this might mean to us again, and wrote this;
In the corner of my gaze something moved
Reminded of almost imperceptible stars
Sky all black like bruises
Pricked with harsher things
Did I form you out of some ancient river bed?
Did I raise you up on poles?
Are you just déjà vu
For the deluded last few
Will science yet prove us all fools?
Then the night whispers
Like an unknown breath on puckered skin
Like the scent of sea to a sailor
Like a poem whose words are not yet spoken
Like an unpainted painting
Or a song still yet to be sung
Like a reed still yet to be fluted
Or a string that was never strung
Like the silence when echoes have faded
Like an unpregnant womb