How can we picture God?

Friday, 8/7/15

Moses asked if any other people had their god as close to them as our God is to us. That gives rise to the question of how close is our God to us. In the “Acts of the Apostles” we read, “He is not far from any of us, since in him we live and move, and have our being.” But even so, how well do we know him?

A lady told me that her six-year-old grandson was going to come to me, asking what God is really like, and I have been thinking about what I might tell him.

Artists in the Middle Ages just pictured God as a loving grandfather, but will the little boy be happy picturing God that way?

St. John wrote, “All things came to be though him, and without him nothing was made.” That means that everything in Nature is modeled after him. That is a help in picturing God when we imagine that the blue of the sky and the laughter of infants are modeled after him.

But it is harder to get a mental image of God when we get scientific. Like, it doesn’t give us a clear picture of God when we learn that each infant’s body, modeled after God, is composed of millions of cells. It gets less clear when we start picturing each of those million cells as it carries out its own special function.

Wooh, wooh! That is too complicated.

Did your father ever take you on his knee, and then talk with you? I have the warmest memories of that happening with me when I was little. For getting an image of God I like combining that memory with Jesus telling us to call God “Our Father.”   

 I find that the best way for me to picture God is to close my eyes, and to relax, feeling how he is holding me and listening to what I say. 

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