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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

Crossing Over: Pillar of Cloud

The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night. ~. Exodus 14:19-20

It's a pillar of cloud that shelters them from the armies of Egypt.

A cloud that lit up the darkness in a way that kept the monsters at bay.

There are times when I really wish God would be visible in an can't-miss kind of way. I don't want a cloudy, misty understanding of God. I want God clear as day.

But maybe it is the cloud I need after all.

There was a book written in 14th century England by an unknown mystic called The Cloud of Unknowing. The book suggests that the way to best know God isn't to focus on God's particular activities and attributes, but instead be bold and wise enough to surrender one's mind and ego to the realm of "unknowing", at which point one may begin to glimpse the nature of God.

In other words, the best way to know God, is to give up trying to assign to God what we think God should do or be.

It is in surrendering to not knowing that we begin to know.

It is giving up our illusions of God and letting God be God.

Sometimes that cloud is what we need: that foggy, protecting all consuming cloud that covers us in its infinite embrace and invites us just to be.

  • St. Francis of Assisi had a prayer each day that he used as a mantra: Who are you God, and who am I? Try praying this during this week. Say it over and over as you pray.

  • Are there attributes of God that you hold so dear that you are invited to let go of so God can teach you something new?

  • What are understandings of God you have that have changed over the years?

Who are you, God, and who am I? Amen

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