I love the Joan Osborne song, One of Us. Remember the lyrics-
What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us?
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make His way home?
If God had a face, what would it look like?
In my mind’s eye I’ve imagined the classic archetypal face of God- a grandfatherly image; white hair, white beard, white body.
There was a certain degree of comfort in knowing a strong, responsible, authority figure looking out for me… protecting me; protecting my family and friends; someone I can appeal to when I’m scared or sick. That is the upside of this kind of authoritarian figure. The downside is the judgment. It’s hard not to imagine a God looking over my shoulder shaking his finger at me for drinking too much wine, behaving like a lunatic when I drive, or gossiping.
Ok, so in the midst of a massage treatment a couple of weeks ago on my anniversary weekend (said anniversary described ad nauseum on facebook) I had a revelation. What if God is really me? Now, I promise, I’m not arguing I’m the first, second, or fifteenth coming of the messiah, this is not about arrogance. Instead, it’s an intensely personal image of God. Kind of like God as my BFF. BFFs aren’t supposed to be judgmental. They love you unconditionally and without judgment (at least that’s the theory).
So my question is, what if God likes board games or even Charades like I do? What if God is a decent golfer? what if God likes to create whimsical, tongue-in-cheek sculptures out of polymer clay? What if God has a sense of humor and likes to laugh. What if God can’t stand movies focusing on physical or emotional cruelty? What if God doesn’t like prison movies? What if God is a little insecure or experiences anxieties about loved ones? What if God is really me? I’m not sure if this revelation is especially comforting or not. In any given crisis, the traditional image of father protector certainly has its advantageous. But perhaps as a grown up I’m chaffing a bit under the stern, even admonishing, gaze of this image of God. Maybe at 62 I’m old enough to revise my version of a god (and, let me be clear, I really do believe in God). I certainly don’t want to argue my new theological theory with people far more familiar with the bible than me. But I do believe in inspired truths. My truth holds there is a god that is accessible and approachable, friendly even, and perhaps a little flawed just like me.
PLEASE COMMENT- I want to know what the face of God looks like in your mind. I’ll post the results on my next blog.