Years ago the band Gungor came out with a song entitled God is Not a White Man; it’s a cute little ditty that reminds listeners that God is love and good and doesn’t fit into the boxes we so often try to put him in. There many people who have issues with Gungor and that song, but that’s not the focus of this post. I want to think about the song in terms of the boxes that it destroys in people’s minds.
How do you picture God? Is he a white guy? Does he look like Morgan Freeman? Is he old? Is he happy? Does he look like Santa Claus? Is he a staunch gun-toting Republican? Or is he wearing a Barak Obama t-shirt?
For years, I thought that God was boring and mean and out to get people. I didn’t see him as loving or forgiving. He was a task-master with rules and regulations, he didn’t want people to have fun and it made it difficult for them to do so. But then I learned who God is.
Now, when I picture God, it usually begins with imagining myself. I promise this post isn’t all about me – just stick with me.
I’m a little girl, maybe 3 or 4 years old, and I’m running around with my hair up in pigtails. Then I open up these massive doors and walk into this large, cavernous room. I’m intimidated by the vastness of it all – I’m just so small. Even though I’m a scared, when I see him sitting in a chair, reading a book by the fire, I’m at ease. Though he is huge, I’m not intimidated. I run to him with glee and jump into his lap, excited to tell him about my day. He is cozy. He is warm. He is loving. Even when I’ve screwed up, even when I’ve broken something, even when I’ve lied or whatever other mistake I can make, I know in his lap, in his arms, I am safe. He is my Father who looks at me with love every single time.
God is a loving and gracious Father who bankrupted heaven to restore the relationship with the kids who rebelled against him. What an incredible God we serve! We’re so undeserving of his love, but he willingly and gladly lavishes it upon us!
I encourage you to look at the boxes you’ve put God into and ask him to dismantle them. Take the things you might believe about God and expose them to the light of his perfect love and allow him to heal those parts of your heart and mind. Dig into his word and learn who he is, look at the works of Jesus and see his character reflected through them. I believe that God is honored as we examine how we see him and choose to connect with who he truly is.
To go deeper: Listen