God in our own image…
I have two friends on my mind this morning. There is one that I have never met, but I know her and love her, nonetheless. And there is another that I have known for ever, it seems, but haven’t had in my life for a very long time and I am afraid that we don’t know each other any more.
In a more charismatic, perhaps mystical language, I might call it a “burden on my heart.” I love that language. It takes what is the elusive, illusive substance of God and finds words to convey a realness, a solidity of Godness that the more conservative, non-mystical side of me fears to express.
We can have constant conversation with God through thought, through prayer, but why is it that when it comes to God talking back we hesitate, we become uncertain and pull back from expressing an encounter in conversation with Him. Why is that so strange an idea?
Conversation has its problems, no doubt. There are misunderstandings, sometimes we aren’t listening well, sometimes we project our own needs and desires or prejudices into the meaning of another person’s words and the conversation becomes lost in a mire. Anne Lamott once said:
“You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out he hates all the same people you do.”
My long time friend, who I had lost touch with (a nice way to say that we parted ways because of a disagreement), wrote this in an email the other day:
“I know you are all ‘love everybody’ and be accepting and everything, but…”
When I read that I had to stop, sit back in my chair and ponder that for a moment. Really? I’m all “love everybody” and everything?? I wish! I mean, yes, I want to love my neighbor as myself and all that, but am I? Do I? No. No way. I fall short of that mark on a daily basis.
But what really worried me about what she said was that it sounded like her understanding of a Christian is that we think that we are holier than other people, we are better than other people. And, yes, I’ll admit that there are a LOT of “holier than thou” Christians walking around on this earth, but let me tell ya, Sistah, THEY AIN’T RIGHT!
I am just as broken and bloodied and beaten down and as hungry as anyone else. I’ve just found a place where I can have my wounds tended, where I can be lifted up, where I can be fed.
And it’s okay if you don’t believe in God, my friend, God believes in you.
Oh, and about my other friend. Her latest blog post just popped up. She’s focused, open and willing, and I’m loving her perspective. She is teaching me (and herself) about listening with the heart and eye as well as the ears. Hello, Beloved Friend.