Bags of Bran

A Fundamental Need
February 27, 2013, 10:31 pm
Filed under: Biography | Tags: ,

I’ll fritter away a few moments on the notion that “God is.” Anything come to mind that could be construed as flowing downhill from such a concept? Not that we’re encouraged to think after this manner: Certainly the great “I” has very little place in such a world where God Is.

Or perhaps your “God Is” is simply your own reflection writ large in the sky, benignly agreeing with you unless you happen to disappoint yourself, in which case he benignly disapproves to the exact degree that you do and loves ya all the same. Worshiping him is merely an extension of the rest of your life, upon which he would never put demands more stringent than you felt necessary. But enough about you.

If the God Who Is is, what sort of God might He be? Now, the above rabbit-trail certainly leads to a god, and certainly this god is worshiped by many church-going and otherwise-laudable folks, but such a god would by no means have created the world I live in: too much death, and the summers are too muggy here in Minnesota. A god made in my image would have capped relative humidity at right around 25%.

Clearly whoever God Is, He did not consult humanity before He created. But He created, and so now something besides God is. But somehow the something is not sufficient to tell me who (or what, or why, or when, or how) God Is, only (and only to those who are willing to believe) that God Is. Nothing more, except that His ability is at least equal to the task of creating a world, nestled in a universe. He is able to cause physical things to exist.

If that is as far as I am willing to go, I do not know the God who Is. If I go no further in inquiry, I can fill in the rest of the blanks myself: perhaps I will be the first to get it right, though many attempts have gone before me, and no two of them agree. I could assert my right, as a human being, to make a god in my own image, or in the image of my culture, to reflect my or our prejudices, loves, and mores. Some cultures have made beautiful works of art in this manner.

But what if the God who Is supplied my inquiry with information regarding Himself? I may never again have the privilege of looking at the sky for a reflection of myself: I may lose the sky entirely, if He disagrees with me. Perhaps it is full of eyes, watching me balefully and waiting to pounce on my weakness. Or perhaps I may gain something: certainly my Creator would wish (if Creators wish) for me to know something of His character. Perhaps He has made demands of me: can Creators still demand things of their creations in such an age?

I suppose I can expect that a God who Is would communicate Himself somehow to His created ones. I suppose I could even personalize it, though only partially. As such, I could expect that this communication would conform to His character, however it may have been mediated to me. 

Still, is it not strange that many would claim that a disparate volume of Palestinian stories constitutes such self-disclosure from the God Who Is?


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