I like the way this poem acknowledges the different perspectives from which we see God, and therefore the different aspects of God we perceive. For me, this opens up two avenues of thought:
1. We all have more than one of these perspectives (and many others not mentioned in the poem, of course) because all of us are multi-faceted people. So I may approach God as a theologian and as a poet, as well as as a woman, a white person, a lesbian, and many more aspects of identity. And the multiple overlapping, interleaving perspectives of God which our own multiple overlapping identities and roles give us will contribute to how we understand the depth and complexity of who God is.
2. But none of us can fully perceive God. We need the insights of people whose perspective is different from our own. Our collective image of God will always be fuller and more expensive than any one person’s. This is one of the reasons the life of faith needs to be lived in some sense in community. By allowing the perspective of the Other to interrupt and interleave with our own, by sitting with the tensions and paradoxes that may reveal, we allow ourselves to become more fully aware of the depth and complexity of God.
This year for #AdventBookClub we are reading “Frequencies of God: walking through Advent with R.S. Thomas” by Carys Walsh. Join the conversation on Twitter using #AdventBookClub or on Facebook by searching for the group ‘Advent Book Club’.