A few years ago I took a class at UW-Madison on Islaam. One of the basic teachings that resonated with me was the idea that God is known in infinite ways- that He has 99 names. Some of these names include: Exceedingly Compassionate, The Guarantor, The Compellor, The Opener, The Subduer, and more. Having many names to talk about the one God- helps me understand God in fresh ways. If we are reflections or expressions of God then we must be as diverse and rich as God.
In Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, seven synonyms or names for God derived from the Bible. In the glossary of Science and Health Eddy defines God. I grew up with these words as interchangeable names for God and find that they help me to not just intellectualize God but feel close to God. When I work with children in Sunday School or at summer camp, we talk about these synonyms as nick-names for God. People give us nick-names as a sign of intimacy and endearment. As God’s children we should feel close to our Father/Mother and willing to rely on God as God relies on us in any need.
I picked out seven images from my photo library that represent the seven names for God. I’ve included a few captions to explain each image. Enjoy feeling God’s love for you and all of creation in fresh ways- today.
Principle- These boats in the harbor in Nice, France remind me of the beauty that comes from divine order and spiritual law. God is Principle which means that God is advocating and preserving each one of us as honest, genuine, and irreplaceable.
Spirit- God is Spirit and as we worship God spiritually not out of duty or ritual we will feel infinite freedom. This photo was taken just after my husband Mat and I were married- a moment of much rejoicing!
Soul- When I use the name Soul for God I think about my true identity as Soul-filled, beautiful, and strong. This is a photo of my childhood friend Megan holding a bouquet of flowers. I really like that friendship and beauty are not frivolous- that God loves us so much we have infinite love and support.
Love- Carlie and Jake were two of the students on my recent trip to France. I appreciated the depth of friendship, warmth, care, and LOVE that the members of the group demonstrated. I was reminded that love is so much more than romance- it is divine.
Truth- This photo comes from Vietnam where I visited a few years ago with my friend Merritt. The fisherman quite literally is making a “T” with his poll and body which reminds me that we can rely on Truth- find Truth in the daily needs such as fishing or providing for one another.
Life- What could be better in life than a turquoise bike! I’ve learned so much from riding my bike but this particular image reminds me of the fluidity and never-ending-ness (see the round wheels) of divine Life.
Mind- Indie the dog belongs to my sister and brother-in-law. He came to live with me last fall while they were out of the country. This photo reminds me that I need to be attentive, Mind-full, and aware of the divine reality of life- not just the things that my five senses pick up.