God in Black Folk: Musings
“Have you ever found God in church? I never did. I just found a bunch of folks hoping for him to show. Any God I ever felt in church I brought in with me. And I think all the other folks did too. They come to church to share God, not find God.”
— from THE COLOR PURPLE by Alice Walker
On this Sunday morning, I thank Creator God for the ways in which we experience God outside of church walls and the closed fist of religion. Womanist thinkers and theologians reintroduced me to the God already in me.
I see God in the faces of my happy children. God rolls through the timbre in my partner’s laughter. Remember the summer of 2020? God was in the streets protesting for justice. God is in the fingertips of the sister shampooing your scalp and retwisting your locs. God is in your grandmother’s kitchen, wafting through the air in the form of your favorite home-cooked meal. God be up in the barber shop swirling around diverse thoughts and knee-slapping laughter. God is the new sprout in your garden. God is in the babies selling lemonade on the corner and in the familiar head nod between Black men passing each other on the block. God be praised as much when we wobble together at a function as when we lift our hands in worship. God be praised when we recall the sacred texts from the gospels of Mama, Grandmama, and my Sister Nem.
Thank God for Alice Walker who sparked this womanist in me. I don’t have to go to church to see God. God is everywhere! Imagine my surprise when I passed by a mirror and—Mm! Mm! Mm!— there she is again. When I’d gone a long time thinking I was far from God—well, there God was the whole time.