It’s hard to remove the child-created image of God from my mind. He is an old and wise man in a white robe with sandals sitting on a big throne amongst the clouds in the sky; and when I am at His feet, I am the size of an ant.
This has become my embedded vision of God and judgment day.
Our childhood imaginations are strong and our minds are like ShamWow, super shammy sponges soaking up everything we come across. So it stands to reason that if you care one iota about your child’s knowledge of faith (or what is going on in Sunday School) then you’d better get involved. But that’s really not the point of where I’m going today – I’m just sayin’ that for most of us, our images of God are formed as children – and those images tend to stay with us no matter how much more sophisticated and mature we become as we try to wrap our heads around who God is.
Often I get to thinking about the image of God, in adult ways. And I’m not sure what to think. But my gut tells me, if I really knew what God looked like – the actual form of God – it would blow my mind away; thus all the references to “not being able to see God’s face” in the Bible holding their truth. But if I slow down, stopping to see the world from God’s majestic view, then I can clearly see Him in the day-to-day things.
I see God in…
My husband, asleep in bed with a cold. Yes, I see God there. First as the amazing man my husband is, his quick thinking and mental strength in the toughest times – God made that. And even in my most feminist-strong-willed points of view, I understand the natural order of men and women and marriage that God ordained. While my husband may not tear up with me during a chick-flick, and even poke a little fun of me when I get sentimental over silly things, I see my husband is a source of strength when I am weak. And I can see that’s exactly how God planned it to the depths of every X and Y chromosome. Aside from stereotypes that hold true for male and female traits, there is something even more amazing God built into our DNA. As my husband lay asleep half snoring from the awful cold he has, his body is healing. God made our bodies in such amazing ways, that He gave us the ability to heal from bruises, cuts, broken bones, heartache, and even the common cold. I see God’s masterwork in our bodies, and at 1:52 am in my slumbering congested husband.
Forests of ferns. I have a fascination with ferns, so naturally I love to be in the John Muir Woods National Park, which is covered in ferns and moss. Tall redwoods umbrella the forest into quiet and seclusion; the most magical life exists under these ancient and hardy trees. It is a Holy sanctuary with song birds, banana slugs, chipmunks, insects, and snakes. And when I’m there I can’t help but feel like I’m in God’s favorite terrarium that He planted Himself. I imagine there are parts of the world that God had a bit more fun with than others, places where He took a second glance and imprinted His wonder and beauty. This would be one of those places. The wind seems like God’s spirit caressing the trees and babbling brooks flow as a reminder of living water that never ceases. If there is any place where the rocks cry out, “Blessed is the King…in heaven and glory in the highest” – then this is the place and God is truly there.
Children, even naughty ones. I was blessed, yes blessed, to watch my oldest nephew be born. That moment changed me, and I will always be thankful to have been a part of that moment. It was a gift from my sister-in-law, and truly a gift from God. And while I know a miracle forms in a mother’s belly for many months, it’s not till that first breath that I absolutely understand the wonder of God. That is where I see the difference between the miracle of birth between humans and any other animal. That very first breath in a human, to me, is the breath of God, the instantaneous creation of a soul… and not a mere moment before. It’s nothing that science can find nor explain, and thus the most mysterious of things always comes down to an explaination of God. A created soul, that is God. I can’t help but be filled with wonder at little new fresh souls, just like Mary must have felt when she held her precious baby Yeshua (Jesus). I’m absolutely certain that there were days “precious Yeshua” flipped out Mary – He would spill the milk, forget to close the door, track mud into the house, and leave his dad’s carpentry tools to rust out in the rain. In essence He had His naughty moments, which has nothing to do with sin. Just a child learning the ropes of life, one bumbling step and mistake after the other. As such, I see children as God’s most amazing creatures, souls born without sin, a clean slate, a fresh start, a free will (that will eventually sin). No wonder Yeshua loved the children so – they are nearly the closest physical thing to God we can encounter.