I wear a Star of David pendant around my neck engraved with the words from Isaiah 49:16 that read, “I have engraved you on the palms of my hands”. I have worn it for years and feel naked without it. There was a period of time, maybe a year or more when I didn’t wear it because my ex-husband had taken it from me declaring me unfit to wear the beloved pendant. His abuse tactics were creative. He knew how much the pendant and the words engraved on its face meant to me. After a year or so, the time frame no longer relevant, he deemed me worthy and returned it to me. I have worn it ever since except for the rare times when I had surgery or the chain repaired.
The scripture is found in the Old Testament. Isaiah the Prophet was assuring Israel God had not forgotten them, they were still God’s beloved. Whether we ascribe to Christendom’s tenets or not, we are still extensions of Divine Love Energy, of God, and as such our spirits long for connection and journey. How we choose to connect and what our journeys look like is up to us. Rest assured, God is with us.
Journeys outside the walls of the church can be lonely, however. Christianity and its various practices are the norms, at least in many places. Those of us who journey outside the walls of organized religion are often suspect of practicing some dark art, and yet our journeys are surprisingly similar to beliefs and practices within Christianity.
I make it fairly clear I am not on board with the tenets and doctrines of Christianity and am open to learning from others outside the walls of the church, expressing my personal journey through means other than reciting prayers of salvation, tithing out of guilt or peer pressure rather than from a place of gratitude for the blessings in my life, and other manmade practices attributed to God. These practices may speak to some, or even many, but they didn’t to me so why would I continue to practice beliefs and doctrines that did not resonate? In my mind continuing to do so just to belong to a larger group made me inauthentic, in truth, a liar. None of it was me, no matter how hard I tried, prayed, or memorized, I was never going to pound a square peg into a round hole. To be my most authentic self I needed to journey with God from a spirit of authenticity.
I may have set aside going to a building and gathering with others to worship God within the confines of various doctrines, but I didn’t set aside a personal journey with God. Isaiah’s words to Israel that God had not forgotten them, in fact, they were engraved on His hands is comforting and encouraging. Some teach the “engraved” analogy is a type and shadow of what was to come; the crucifixion of Yeshua. Perhaps. But what if it was a just a poetic declaration Divine Love does not forget His beloved? Apart from religious doctrine, apart from rote prayers and rituals, I am still God’s beloved. We are all the beloved of Divine Love, of God.
The scripture from Isaiah is so meaningful to me I also have a drawing hanging on a wall in our home, the one in the picture above, crafted by one of our talented and gifted daughters. In our home, and wherever I travel in life, I am reminded Divine Love engraved me on the palms of His hands…..