Diana Buter Bass’ Grounded: Finding God in the World: A Spiritual Revolution is another one of those books I could wish to have had in my hands 20 years ago. She describes something very similar to the strange faith I began to stumble into in my teens but had no idea what to do with or how to live it in my time and place. She looks at how religion is not so much in decline but in transformation and what “spiritual but not religious” really means to people in practice.
This book is stuffed full of favorite quotes and articulate, insightful views of God, creation, and being human.
It took me five decades to figure it out, but I finally understood. The church is not the only sacred space; the world is profoundly sacred as well.
The first chapter in on dirt – the ground, dust, clay from which we are made and to which we return. Long time readers know that The Great Composter may be one of my many favorite metaphors for God. I was hooked. Perhaps because gardens and mountains are where I have always seemed most likely to find God, because Jesus seemed to have a thing for praying in gardens, because across many religions and scriptures The Garden is the place to be. It’s a simple, earthy and barefoot sort of theology and she explains and supports it well with her words.
It did take me a while to read Grounded as I started it in the middle of the term and couldn’t just focus on reading what I picked up. (Hopefully I will catch up on my reading and writing over vacation!) But I do give this a “well worth reading” recommendation, both for people looking individually for new ways of seeking God and for people trying to understand what appears like a sudden allergy to church. She answers these questions well and makes a good case for God With Us here and now in the dirt and streams and air.