I have a confession to make: I am in search of a bigger God. Mine is too small. I have made numerous attempts to write this God out of my life, this God who is petty, pithy, pedantic at best. The God that resides in my heart is an idol, one made up of fairy tales told by my drunken fathers’ presence and absence. This God is narcissistic, needy, omnipotent and tyrannical and a drunk…just like my father was.
I thought that decades ago I had been loosed of this divine schizophrenic through some heavenly and earthy moments with Jesus of Nazareth, but circumstances as of late have left me reeling in disbelief at the very core of my beliefs and just how small my God has become as of late.
Doctrine, dogma, stigma and stain all have left the remnants of a child-like faith based in innocence and turned it into a full out frontal assault of FEAR. I am scared of my “oh so small God.”
This God is too small; he cannot handle my pain, my emotional outburst, my constant neediness. Nor can this God handle my questions and queries, leaving hope suffocated by the minutiae of daily life, questions big and small.
In fact, this God is too small precisely because He IS a He. Why can’t this God be a She? Or have Feminine qualities? My mother was such a strong, lovely, regal woman who had wits and wilds about her…why can’t she be the source of my image of God instead of my alcoholic dad?!?
How about this truth: one of the most oft used words to describe God’s wondrous glory in the Jewish Bible and the Christian Old Testament is the word “Shekinah” – a feminine Hebrew word. And much like the French language and other Romance languages, gender is ascribed to words rather than leave them neutral and therefore neutered. Shekinah, to be more specific, is the English spelling of a grammatically feminine Hebrew name of God in Judaism. The original word means the dwelling or settling, and denotes the dwelling or settling of the Divine Presence of God, especially in the Temple in Jerusalem (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shekinah).”
In Judaism, and Islam, your name denotes not only your character, but can denote your destiny as well. So, Shekinah, a word implying the very dwelling Place of the Most High God is a feminine word. So, my small God can be She. So my too-small-God can have the great traits of my mother: strong, loyal, creative, beautiful, tender, and compassionate, a mama bear not to be reckoned with when one of her cubs was in danger. For as Genesis 1:26-27 states, “then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness’…in the image of God he created [humanity]; male and female God created them. But I digress…
The search for a bigger God continues.
I can cash in this Peon-like God for one much larger than me, or you and definitely a God with NO EGO!
It is for this reason I love the 2nd Step of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous when it says “we came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” A Power greater than me…a Power greater than any limitation or fear I could ever fashion a Deity to be.
I am truly searching for a bigger God: not a health and wealth, life will be pie in the sky God; not a Polyannish never see the darkness of life God; not a Santa Claus God who gives me my wish list.
I am in search of a God whose love is beyond being meted out and human restraint. I am in search of a God who is holy – wholly other – yet dwells within me. I am in search of a God Who is beyond dogmatic and doctrinal delineations; a God Whose very Being and strength is pure Love, infinite Mercy and radical Compassion.
In short, I am in search of a God Who is in search of me…