- God is the God of Sparrows
- God is as seen through glass, darkly, the God of Mists
- God is a light in darkness, the God of Light
- God is at a distance
- God is plausible deniablility
- God is a God of almost miracles
- God is a God of Miracles
- God is tamed and trained Lion
Which of these is God to you?
I’ve a friend who died and came back from the light. He believes in a God who marks the sparrows fall. To him, the only miracle God works is that God knows, loves and cares, God suffers with us. But in his view, God does nothing else in the world. When I read his editorial in the paper on that, I realized that he believes that God is the God of Sparrows.
One step past that is the God of many, a God who gives vague guidance to man, who we can see through a glass, darkly. The God of obscurement, who I have named the God of Mists. Something beyond the agnostic’s question, but a great mystery.
In counterpoint, there are those who feel that God is a light in darkness. To them, God’s only miracle is knowledge and inspiration to those who will look, listen and feel. I refer to this vision of God as the God of Light.
There are others who believe that God works tangible miracles, but only at a distance, for others, long ago and far away. God saved Israel from the Pharaoh, but of course did not save the Jews from Hitler (though, if you think about it, Israel spent four hundred years in bondage, the Jews did not suffer the Nazis quite that long). That is the Distant God.
The Distant God contrasts with the God who only works miracles that are indistinguishable from random chance or unknown physical laws. They believe that the miracle of loaves and fishes was really that Jesus prompted people to share what they had, and that turned out to be more than enough. When God heals, it is only people who would or could have healed naturally. In this view God is the God of Miraculous Coincidences and luck.
Then there are those who believe in weak miracles. The God of almost miracles (I put that in lower case intentionally). My favorite example is of a man dying of cholera who as asked if he had faith to be saved. He responded that if only they had come an hour before, a miracle would have saved him.
Then there is the God of Miracles, the God of my experience. One who loves like the God of Sparrows. One who sometimes leaves me confused like the God of Mists, and other times has been brilliantly clear, like the God of Light. But one, who has from time to time, worked real, tangible miracles.
What God has not been for me is the trained and tamed lion (intentional C. S. Lewis reference) who performs miracles on demand, by rote.
Which is some ways raises more questions than answers. It also leads to my next post “God is a What?! Part Two.”
This understanding of God is why I don’t see a difference between God not revealing the policy shifts we want, when we want them with other circumstances where God does not miraculously intervene. A policy shift revelation is easily within the grasp of even the God of almost or minor miracles, as are the solutions to many problems.