Brute force can be obvious. Machines, large animals, and big men all have power. At times, their actions can be encouraging, awesome, and frightening. In the latter experience, I realize how fragile life really is. A speeding subway car does not care what is in its path. It is going to push through the station. A frustrated, angry, out of control man does not seem, in the short term at least, to care what happens. An angry dog is dangerous, even if you are used to handling dogs. Yet, their power is not the only kind of power. It may not even be the strongest.
I find myself always in awe of liquids, especially those found in a art studio or wood shop. Their uses are endless; paints, solvents, lubricants, sealers, and stains are just the beginning. Each use starts so effortlessly. It is almost as if the initial touch has nothing to do with its purpose. A gentle wipe can begin the process where hard items melt, bonds are broken, or vulnerabilities sealed. For the most part, the chemical process occurs out of sight. Nothing changes and yet everything does. Nothing moves and yet nothing remains where is once was. There is a power that defies the liquid’s original flexibility and innocence.
I often find myself underestimating the power of something or someone. Ideas are powerful. They permeate defenses as if nothing stood in their way. Beliefs, emotions, and principals are powerful. Freedom is extremely powerful. With freedom, you and I can do anything.
It is in this context that I find myself looking at God differently. When God “says to Ocean, ‘Dry up. I'm drying up your rivers.’” (Isaiah 44.27) God is operating with a level of power we cannot comprehend. When God says, “I love you. You are my beloved.” God’s power again defies my understanding. God does not stop there. God invites you and me to be part of Divinity’s reach. We can bring justice to the helpless, acceptance to those alone, and mercy to those desperate for love. This is powerful.
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