It's a pretty old idea: God is out there. We are here.
There's humans; there's Deity.
There's meat dolls running around on a hunk of dirt and there’s a celestial, mystical sort of thing that controls all that's going on. This force often gets personified as a powerful male (and to be fair, Jesus seemed to affirm this picture).
But I have to wonder if maybe this idea is only an important stepping stone. I wonder if "Father in heaven" is an amazing leap forward from say "erratic lightning-bolt-slinger" or "child-sacrifice-loving monster". By comparison, a benevolent father figure who is also in control of everything is wicked good news. Especially if your dad situation is rough.
I mean, come on. Sweet combo.
God doesn't hate me and maybe He will help me with my daddy issues.
I'll take it.
And we should! That's soooooo freaking cool.
If “good dad” is the best image you can think of for the One holding the universe together, then stick with it! Honestly, I can't tell you how many times I've cried while listening to the song ‘Good, Good Father’ (the same amount of times a white girl orders a skinny latte per year).
So I'm not dogging it. I'm not.
I'm just wondering if there's a progression, an arc.
It took humans a long time to land on "good father" and even longer to assimilate it. Well, we still haven't. Go on, admit it! You still think a cosmic force may be mad at you because of "sin"! I'm not judging. I still think that sometimes.
But I wonder if just like we had to evolve from all that "God probably wants to smite me" nonsense, we may also need to evolve a bit more.
Anyways, kids love puppets.
At least a lot of them do. And a child cannot fathom that there's person who is animating them, giving them life. The illusion is that puppets really have separateness, agency. A sock moose over there on the left. A sock pig on the right. All inside a cardboard frame.
But we grown-ups are way smarter. We would never fall for that.
Take a look out the window. You're not next to one? Well imagine it then.
See a person. In fact, see a person who looks different than you or who you suppose may have different life circumstances. Great. Now tell yourself "We're connected. When I hurt, they hurt and when they hurt, I hurt."
How does that sit with you?
It only feels sort of true to me. My mind can't wrap around the logistics, but I have a hunch that I'm a child looking at puppets. Only I don't think there's a separate puppeteer. Just like a baby can't fathom that there's a person behind the cardboard, it is difficult for us to see that we're connected — to "God" and to each other and that it's all the same substance. Sure, on this plane it seems disconnected (God, you, me), but I wonder what we’d see if we could peek behind the cosmic cardboard.
Now, I'm not a scholar. If you say you have more Bible verses memorized than me, then I salute you. You're probably right. You may be certain that there is an "up there" God. You may be certain that this God has terms, maybe even very gracious terms, by which people are sorted in and out of heaven. You may be sure that only Christians are making the cut. I am not sure of that.
I'm just putting out a hunch.
Jesus, the Bible tells me you hold the everything together, that you’re in all, beyond time, that you’re currently redeeming everything and have already redeemed everything. I wonder what the crap that means. Amen.