The Color Purple by Alice Walker (including the film and musical by the same name) has transformed not only how I see G-d but also how I relate to G-d. As I continue to wrestle with who G-d is for me and G-d’s presence in my life, I wanted to share a mini liturgy and reflection based on a passage from the Color Purple that has also been made into a song for the musical—this passage captures a tidbit of what I have come to believe and embrace as G-d.
Every creature, every plant, every rock and grain of sand proclaims the glory of its Creator and worships through colour, shape, scent and form a multi-sensory song of praise.
Creator God, may we join with the whole of your creation in praising you, our Creator, through the fragrance and melody of our lives. Heavenly Mother we meet together your people, one people, your family bound together with the woven chord that binds all of creation together fashioned from your love. We are children together, one family in fellowship with you, its Heavenly Mother. May this be a time of joy, a time for growing, a time for strengthening, a time for loving, family time, quality time, together. Amen!
A reading from Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple”
Here’s the thing, say Shug. The thing I believe. God is inside you and inside everybody else. You come into this world with God. But only them that search for it find it. And sometimes it just manifest itself even if you not looking, or don’t know what you looking for. Trouble do it for most folks, I think. Sorrow, lord. Feeling like shit. It? I ast. Yeah, it. God ain’t a he or a she, but a it. But what it look like? I ast.
Don’t look like nothin, she say. It ain’t a picture show. It ain’t something you can look at apart from anything else, including yourself. I believe God is everything, say Shug. Everything that is or ever was or ever will be. And when you can feel that, and be happy to feel that, you’ve found it… Listen, God love everything you love – and a mess of stuff you don’t, but more than anything else, God love admiration. You saying God vain? I ast. Naw, she say. Not vain, just wanting to share a good thing. I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it. What it do when it pissed off? I ast.
Oh, it make something else. People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back. Yeah? I say. Yeah, she say. It always making little surprises and springing them on us when we least expect.You mean it want to be loved, just like the Bible say. Yes, Celie, she say. Everything want to be loved. Us sing and dance, make faces and give bouquets, trying to be loved. You ever notice that trees do everything to git attention we do, except walk?
My understanding of the Almighty Divine Diva cannot put into a neat little box. It evolves from an organic, dynamic, never-boring, relational odyssey. It is an ongoing experiencia of being loved by GOD.
Through family violence, divorce, death, and church, through straight A’s, scholarships, and seminary—Mi DIOS esta presente (my GOD is present).
In the silence of a month long retreat; to the fear, anxiety, and “eek” of coming out to self and world; to the creation of safe spaces for victims of crime—Mi DIOS esta presente.
From being arrested for social justice, to rocking my goddaughter to sleep, to being kissed by my soul mate—Mi DIOS esta presente.
My understanding is not limited to just one experience; but ebbs and flows, rises and falls, twists and turns with each sonrisa, tear, wrinkle, headache, white hair, and euphoric outburst.
Mi DIOS is an ever-present presence that wrestles with me…shakes me up…makes love to me…walks with me when I limp…embraces me…and tickles me. Mi DIOS deconstructs me to reconstruct me again and again and again. Mi DIOS challenges me to live, love, and laugh beyond the norm. Mi DIOS inspires, teaches, and affirms me in being happy, healthy, and holy in la lucha (the everyday struggle).
“The Color Purple” from the musical “The Color Purple”
Words to the song….God is inside you and everyone else, that was or ever will be. We come into this world with God, but only them who look inside find it. God is the flowers and everything else what was or ever will be. And when you feel the truth so real, and when you love the way you feel, you’ve found it…Just as sure as moonlight bless the night. Like a blade of corn, like a honeybee, like a waterfall, all a part of me. Like the color purple, where do it come from? Open up your eyes, look what G-d has done