An Excerpt from God-Birthing: Toward Sacredness, Personal Meaning, and Spiritual Nourishment by Michael Dwinell

Michael Dwinell uses essays, letters, favorite quotations, and poetry to reveal how we can recognize the birthing of God in the midst of our experiences. Our favorite selection in the book is this one in which Dwinell sees the presence of the Holy One in the yearning of pro football fans.

The NFL and God

Today, I saw you in a thousand faces.
          Foxbow Stadium
The New England Patriots
versus the Houston Oilers
          A sell-out crowd
Everywhere men
          Especially drinking
Beer after beer after beer
          By the end of the first quarter,
many of the men were unsteady on their feet
          Eyes glazed
Voices louder
          Language cruder and cruder
By halftime,
most of the men were substantially dulled.

          It was unpleasant, unattractive,
          sometimes crude and offensive, stupid.
I have seen too many men that way before.
I had been that way too many times before.
          I was increasingly revolted.
Intelligence and awareness
is won at too high a price.
          But regardless of how revolted
          or offended I was,
          at the same time,
          in every face, in every pair of eyes,
          I saw you.
I saw the pain.
          I saw the longing.
I saw the beauty.
          I saw the vulnerability.
I saw your becoming,
pressing out and through in every face.
          Every face led directly to you.

The contest on the field
was really about you, wasn't it?
          Two teams
          Dark and white
Opposite ends of the field
          Both striving to dominate
And nobody knowing the outcome
ahead of time
          And the cheering
The screaming
          The yelling
The booing
          The fanaticism
Really all about you, isn't it?
          Cheering your awful becoming.
I saw a thousand faces today.
          Ugly and offensive
          and filled with your presence.
All that longing leads to you
          All that pain leads to your pain.
Really you were the only one there.

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