About this issue

by Joan Stockbridge, Issue Editor

This is a very personal issue of God's Friends. In it you will read correspondence from members of St. Gregory's to one of their rectors. He had emailed the congregation, asking people to describe their personal experiences of Jesus, and received almost 150 pages of replies. Out of those emails, we have selected most of the writing in this issue.

To be truthful, the selection process was extremely difficult. First I had to overcome my own prejudices, which were whispering to me, "We can't publish that! We'll get in trouble. We'll offend people. We'll be laughed at. And besides, it's a dumb idea anyway." It was a startling moment when I recognized the depth of my own prejudices, my unconscious assumption that Jesus really looked a certain way and that anyone who thought of Jesus in a different way was basically unenlightened.

In the end, I tried to select writings that showed a diversity of beliefs and experiences. I looked for writing that felt immediate, experiential, and honest. And, of course, I selected writing that the writers were willing to have published.

As I have thought about this issue, an old story from India has come to mind. Five blind sages were trying to describe an elephant. One, grabbing hold of the tail, exclaimed, "The elephant is like a swinging rope." The second, pressed against the elephant's side, shouted, "How could you be so mistaken! The elephant is like a wall." A third, kneeling by the feet, said calmly, "The elephant is like a tree trunk." And so on. With this issue of God's Friends you could say we are looking for an elephant. Blind sages all, we would be well-served by listening to each other, awe-struck, wondering what kind of Being could be so various, so puzzling, and so wondrous as to invoke such varied reactions in so many dedicated seekers.

View articles, God's Friends, Volume 12, Number 3



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