As two friends mutually explored their histories, a strange conversation emerged.
“When’s your birthday?” Pause and answer. “No, that’s mine.”
“What type of suitcase do you use?” Pause and answer. “No, that’s mine.”
“What types of things influenced you when you were young?” Pause and answer. “That’s my church, my music, my influences.”
Flip over to a conversation last week when two work colleagues agreed to go to dinner with no work conversation. There was little that we shared in our backgrounds. One appeared to have rejected God while the other embraced. One seemed to thrive on what the world had to offer as the other struggled to learn to live in it. One seemed obsessed with the game as another searched for something better. Yet the conversation took on twists neither could anticipate or script.
As I reflect I wonder if I understand the way God works. The driver of this particular observation is the fact that if you asked me to define God I would talk in terms of principle first, power, omnipresence second. In the conversation over dinner the definition of my God emerged.
Intense, passionate, and practiced respect for individuals and the environment
Mercy taking precedence to justice
Living, real living as a primary aspiration
Community shaping the definition and understanding of the “I” (self)
Unconditional acceptance of people as individuals
Ironically these were not my words but the words of someone who in theory doesn’t see or recognize the world “God”. This viewpoint doesn’t come from ignorance. The words just do not make sense, especially in the world in which he lives. Yet the principles hold. Life would be willingly given to defend these truths.
I sat there wondering if I was “carried away like the rest of the rabble?” (John 7.47) Could this possibly be true? God’s soul-mate doesn’t even know Divinity’s name. The sheer wonder of it all forced me back into a quiet reflection.
What God do others see in me? Will they find what I have found? Yesterday? What about today?