A missionary at a retreat that I barely knew came up to me one night with a message. He said God had given him something he was supposed to give me. So he told me a story.
That was weird to me. That felt a little strange or odd. That didn’t fit into the box I put God into. You see, I used to confine God to the Bible or the words of a minister. But I was wrong and I’m not alone.
Somewhere along the way, we quietly started believing the God that used to employ burning bushes and magical writing on the wall retired those methods of communication. He stopped talking with people in dreams. He quit doing weird and wild and ridiculous things. He got really small and really quiet.
He lost his A game.
But I think that’s wrong. I can’t understand why God would talk to Joseph, as in husband of Mary, about the birth of Jesus in a dream but he won’t talk to you that way. I can’t understand why Jesus would use examples like the way God cares about birds or teach us with seed and vine analogies if we’re not supposed to see him in nature.
So here’s what I am going to confess: I see signs of God in lots of places.
When secular band Angels and Airwaves sings:
“Where all the children left without a trace, only to come back as pure as gold”
I can’t help but think of Job 23: 10 which says:
“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”
In the song below I don’t hear Eddie Vedder, I hear what the Prodigal Son might have felt when he deserved to not be remembered as a son but was instead greeted with a party:
I swear I recognize your breath, memories like fingerprints are slowly raising
Me you wouldn’t recall, for I’m not my former
It’s hard when you’re stuck upon the shelf
I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps thats what no one wants to see. I just want to scream…hello…
My God its been so long, never dreamed you’d return
But now here you are, and here I am
I could play this game all night and I’ve written about this very concept before and will write about it again. The point isn’t less Bible or less church or less traditional things. If anything, it’s more. More seeing the Bible come to life in the everyday. More taking church outside the building. More seeing God in the way we look, not what we are looking at.
And that’s my question for you, where do you see God?
p.s. It was cool that for many people, the Fight Club post opened up a chance to talk about what they saw in that book/movie.