In this imaginative and meditative work, Michael Dwinell, an Episcopal priest and pastoral psychotherapist, presents his views on the presence of the Divine in the midst of our experiences. He predicates his perspective on the words of Meister Eckhart, the prolific Christian mystic, who wrote long ago, "We are all meant to be mothers of God." We know God, Dwinell explains, "as the Holy One whose ongoing birthing takes place in and through the individual and collective lives of human beings." Our vocation is to give birth to God every day, especially in times of struggle, pain, and suffering.
Dwinell uses illustrations from his own life and counseling sessions and also draws upon the words of C. J. Jung, Teilhard de Chardin, T. S. Eliot, W. H. Auden, and others. The book is divided into four sections: The Experience of Reality, The Denial of Reality, Reality as the Tension of Opposites, and Empathy and Compassion.
The author has a special fondness for An Interrupted Life: The Diaries of Etty Hillesum, 1941 - 1943 and shares some of his favorite quotations from this classic. Here’s one: "I now realize, God, how much You have given me. So much that was beautiful and so much that was hard to bear. Yet, whenever I showed myself ready to bear it, the hard was directly transformed into the beautiful. And the beautiful was sometimes much harder to bear, so overpowering did it seem. To think that one small human heart can experience so much, oh God, so much suffering and so much love, I am grateful to You, God, for having chosen my heart, in these times, to experience all the things it has experienced."
Dwinell repeatedly startles us with his vivid sense of God’s becoming in the midst of our maneuvers between light and dark, good and evil, right and wrong. Through a variety of formats letters to his daughter, anecdotes and stories, and a series of canticles addressed to God he shows us how we, too, can honor all of our experiences as occasions for God-birthing.