I COMPLAIN TO GOD SOMETIMES.
One of the big questions we humans have about God is whether or not he’s anything more than someone’s imagination from thousands of years ago.
As in a piece of fiction that got told over and over so many times that somewhere along the line one well-meaning soul actually believed it.
We church people talk about our personal relationship with God, who we’ve never met in person.
I don’t know what color his eyes are, or if he has a piercing stare. I don’t know if his hands are rough from shaping mountains, or if he wears sandals with arch support.
I know those things about people with whom I have a personal relationship. But I don’t know those things about God.
I have my moments when I say, right out loud, “Are you there?”
If God is there, why doesn’t he do the right thing and say hello to the world? How is that not the right thing, when so many people don’t believe he exists?
I wish he would do it.
But I don’t know what difference it would make.
Even people who say they believe in him don’t act like it, all too often.
I know the Bible teaches that he came, in a way, when he sent Jesus. That was great, for the generation of people who got to meet Jesus…or who at least got to know someone who knew someone who had known Jesus.
But that’s not our generation.
We don’t know what color eyes Jesus had, or if he had a piercing stare. We don’t know if his hands were rough from shaping wood as a carpenter, or if he wore sandals instead of going barefooted.
Sometimes it’s frustrating as a Christian, living in flesh and blood trying to maintain a personal relationship with a spirit being. The very idea sounds like the pitch for a B-movie in the sci-fi genre.
When God gets physical
Yet there are moments when God gets physical, even today.
I experienced that on Monday. I think I may experience it again this weekend.
On Monday, I sat in the driveway in front of my house. My wife along with my son and his family sat with me. We watched the solar eclipse.
I know that a lot of people can watch something like that and stop short of believing that there is a God behind creation.
On Friday, my son and I will leave for a weekend of fly-fishing with a group of men from my church.
I know that a lot of fishermen can cast their line in the most beautiful trout stream and stop short of believing there is a God behind the design.
As for me, I can see God up high, in a solar eclipse. And I can see God down low, in a valley stream that meanders through the Ozark hills.
I feel the connection then.
You know how you can read a book and feel a connection with the writer, or listen to a song and feel the heart of the musician, or study the photos of a Pulitzer prize-winning photographer and know that you are a kindred spirit?
I would love to look God in the eyes, shake his hand, or tell him there’s no need to take off his sandals when he walks on our carpet, since we have an indoor dog.
For now, I’m grateful I get to see him in the lights of the sky and in the colors and textures of the water below.
Snippets of an eclipse
I watched the entire eclipse on Monday.
Here’s the link to a compilation of some photos and video clips I took: Solar Eclipse and How Great Thou Art.
I didn’t cheat. Every image you see is from the two hours I spent under the sun.
We were supposed to see 99.4% of the total eclipse, but about two or three minutes before totality, a bank of clouds rolled in.
They added a drama all their own.
I wish the images were better because what I saw with my eyes and with the zoom lens on my camera was deeply moving.
Blog subscribers who win books this week
- Hershel Franklin
- Denise Seltzer
I give away free books every week to randomly selected Stateside subscribers to my free blog or my quarterly newsletter.
Winners now get to choose from a stack of titles, including my most recent: A Visual Walk Through Genesis .
Note to the two winners: send me an email and I’ll give you the full list of books from which you can choose.
The deal’s good for a month, or for as long as I have giveaway books available.