One of the biggest experiences I’ve had in Christianity is God’s absence. “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” While one can do this for a very long time, it puts the work on our shoulders for God to show up. It says that I have to do all the work. Reasons for him not showing up might be me not seeking hard enough, failing to have the right motives, having sin in my life, etc. These are all our responsibility. Why not a little reciprocation in this relationship? Maybe that’s too human an expectation in a divine-human relationship, but come on. Why doesn’t he “draw near” as in actually keep appearing in history, rather than consigning himself to occasional appearances a VERY long time ago, knowing full well that history gets muddied so easily?
Using an example from I forget where, if I hear my young child crying in the woods for 19 days and don’t reveal myself, I’d probably be considered a terrible parent. I mean, granted that it’s not a Vulcan rite of passage, I’d let my son know where he could find his family so he’d have security. No birthday cards, no letters, no phone calls, no tweets from the guy. Just words written back yonder. Even a violent revelation would at least show his person. I guess, to me, relationships take work, and there doesn’t seem to be much work going on on the other end. I’m finally asking him to go to counseling with me and he won’t give an answer. Even a “no” would be better than silence. Maybe I make too much out of these biblical metaphors- God’s people being God’s bride, sons, children. I cry out with Jesus, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Many people of God whisper, “How long, O, Lord, until your coming?” Sure, I guess God is considered sovereign, and so he gets to do what he wants. Why doesn’t he show up every once in awhile, though? He’s the king, right? He just feels like a deadbeat dad to me.
How about every 10 years, no every generation, he gives a state of the cosmos address like the American president does every year? This would let us all know how far we’ve deviated from him and clear up unnecessary diversity of opinion. Maybe rather than let his kids do all his talking for him, he could talk for himself. What are his purposes in staying hidden? Does it simply indicate his non-existence? Is he afraid of rejection? Would he get too annoyed with the questions?
Jesus told his disciples that it was good he went away so that his Spirit would be with everyone, that he would guide them into all truth. If this is so, why do we have so many voices for God which conflict with one another? No one can with full finality say, “Yah that guy or gal is speaking for God,” because we simply don’t know. We can say God’s revealed himself fully in Jesus Christ or the Bible or some revelation, but when it gets down to it, that makes things very sticky. Interpretation is involved in all things. A little time has elapsed since Jesus’ first came to the block. Much history has occurred, many languages have come and gone, many new and quite workable ideas have come since then. I mean, he’s been gone at sea so long, is it just time to say he’s dead and move on? It’s not like he has a captain sending him off to various parts of the universe against his will, so where is he? He’s omnipotent and omnipresent, right?
I don’t want to have to wrestle crumbs from the dogs (have my experience of God be mediated through history, literature, people, psychological experience, contrived worship settings). I want to eat at the table (unmediated experience, like Abraham, Jacob, Moses). Except he’s not at the table, in the room, in the house, on the block. He went to prepare a place for his people. How long does that take? The universe took six days. Does that just mean this will finally be the best of all possible worlds? Could he at least be a good carpenter and give us updates on our mansions? I don’t want the mansion, though. I just want to hear his voice, to know that he gives a rip. I’m like the kid with rich parents: I don’t want all the stuff they give just so they won’t have to hang out with me.
If anyone has any thoughts related to this, or you’d just like to say “hello,” leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.