Letter to the Editor: Living in the supernatural

Flatland is the story of a two-dimensional land that is contacted by the third dimension. The authoritarian, priestly class of Circles views this enlightenment as a threat to social stability. Would we respond differently?

Christians are frequently accused of using God as a crutch to avoid reality. They turn to God when everything collapses, hoping that he’ll fix everything. It runs deep in humanity—that desire to control the uncontrollable with the help of the gods. It’s the root of the question, “Why me? I’ve been good!”

What if, instead of looking to God for stability, we trust God to shatter our perceived reality? Perhaps the perfection of the “Kingdom of Heaven” isn’t confined to a third-dimensional representation and is instead a reality that stretches us, as our minds struggle to imagine the fourth, fifth or even twelfth dimensions.

This semester’s focus is on Acts–-a book overflowing with references to a spiritual dimension. I believe that because the church has lost touch with that spiritual realm, our society has become obsessed with magic, vampires, the paranormal, etcetera. Somehow, we know there is “more.” But like children who discover pornography and assume they are learning about sex, we often use magic as an analogy for the miraculous and miss the whole point.

Magic uses the supernatural to give us the illusion of control. The miraculous is bathed in relationship and points us to a reality that supersedes our own, giving us the courage to trust in a God that sees beyond our limitations.

Jesus behaved as if angels and demons were actual beings, not fictional allegories. How do we live with that reality and not get weird or fearful? Paradigm shifts are hard. But faith isn’t required when we know our way around. Dare we trust the Holy Spirit to lead us?

Deborah Raiees-Dana,
General Academic Advisor