Have you ever felt awe? What does it feel like to you? When and where have you felt it?
Some describe awe as a kind of fear (Its even related to the Scandinavian word for fear). It’s defined as an overwhelming sense of fear (mixed with admiration), produced by encountering something beyond ourselves. Awe is often used to describe God, if one exists. I don’t know about you, but fear is not something that I want to feel a God. And, if God is Love, then (as my theology goes), what would there to be afraid of?
For me, awe as that feeling you get when you are before something that is so vast, it is beyond your understanding. But instead of fear, it feels a lot more like love, to me. I got that feeling when I stood before the Grand Canyon. I get it now when I contemplate the vastness of the Universe, or even the beauty and miracle of a newborn child. It’s a feeling of being completely and utterly insignificant, and completely and utterly precious at the same time.
Maybe encountering God (as Love) would be sort of scary. Because encountering a love that vast, that huge, would break us all open, exposing us to all the light and darkness inside. Can you imagine? If it all came out, would we still be loved?
That’s what our Universalist Heritage taught us: That we are worthy of love, no matter what. And while it might be scary to imagine a love that vast, we are working toward creating a world that does just that. Maybe it’s a matter of letting the love inside of each of us to expand out and envelope the world… Wouldn’t that be awesome?