From the Pulpit: What does God look like to you?
A Catholic sister is leading her first-grade class in a finger-painting session. She walks up to Gordy and asks, “What are you painting?” He replies, “I’m painting the face of God.”
“But that’s impossible” she says, “no one has ever seen the face of God.” Gordy replies, “They will in five minutes!”
That’s thinking big! Little Gordy was eager to show folks what God looks like. Even if you smile at this joke, was the nun correct? Is the Creator of the universe beyond our capacity to see? Think with me about that.
We do not visually see God with our eyes. Though over 90 percent of people believe in a supreme being/higher power/maker of the stars, we have no scientific proof. (Oddly, a good number of people, especially in the white well-off West, believe that we humans came out of nowhere. That really takes blind faith, to behold all the daily evidence of a masterful, complex creation, and think it’s just an accident.)
For those who do acknowledge a Cosmic Designer, invisible to the naked eye, how can this Supernal One be known?
Does every Gordy just imagine their own version of a divine deity? Can I picture God like Santa Claus, and you picture God like a kindly grandpa, and Gordy picture God like a wizard, and your neighbor picture God like a wild-haired goddess? Well … we humans do a lot of that. We have an “anthropomorphic” perspective of life. We often “make God in our image,” though the Bible declares the reverse — that we are made in God’s image. (Genesis 1:26) It’s rather convenient and non-threatening to just design your own god.
However, it probably occurs to clear-thinking people that we mere mortals do not get to decide who God is. We’d like to do that, so that the Almighty One would be an upgraded version of ourselves: our values, our politics, etc. However, desiring it does not make it so.
Though much about God remains a mystery high above us, God has actually shown us His face! The key principle of the Christian faith is that God did indeed put skin on and walk among us. God came low, seeking us to be His beloved. We could not and cannot reach up to heaven as puny and flawed creatures, but God in His perfect love came to Earth.
I don’t know if Gordy drew the face of Jesus, but I hope so. If you wonder what God is like, what He thinks of you, what He wants from you, how you might connect with Him and with eternity: Look at Jesus! He is the face of God.
As Jesus put it: “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9) How fantastic it is that God has made Himself knowable and loveable!
Lord Jesus — thanks for showing us who God is!