Horizontal Is The New Vertical (Devotional Reflection)

HORIZONTALI often joke with my tweens right before I go to bed, “Poppy’s going to get vertical.” The kids always scream, “It’s horizontal!!!!!”

There is a suspect teaching that is perpetuated in the Church that we have a dualistic and bi-directional relationship with God. The first is a vertical relationship, because God is somehow mysteriously “up there” or “out there” somewhere. This vertical relationship is a disembodied experience of pietistic prayer, Bible reading, or praise and worship (singing Christian songs). The second relational direction we have with God is the horizontal relationship, which is an embodied experience of loving our neighbor, because as John said, “You can’t say you love God without loving your neighbor.” But I have a problem with this construct because God doesn’t seem to be in the horizontal. It is God in the vertical, and humans in the horizontal.

But what if those two directions are just two sides of the same coin? What if God is not up there, but exists on a paradoxical horizontally vertical plane? So we meet God between the pall, the infinitesimal wisp of no-thing that separates the spiritual from the material, and we can freely move back and forth through this pall by a sheep’s gate, the Cosmic Christ.

God’s not up there; God’s right here!

Yes, there is the mystical, ethereal, other-worldly elusive God, but we always experience that same God in the material—in the here and now: God in me, God in you, God in the middle of you and me. God existing everywhere at the same time. The distant God is always present in everyone and everything.

When I get vertical, I get horizontal with God, whether waking or sleeping, standing or lying down, busy or still. Horizontal is the new the vertical and it is entered into at the foot of the Cross!

© Paul Dordal, 2015


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