Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Living with Lewis: Picturing God

I've never been able to nail down what God looks like. Every time I seem to have a grasp on what God’s up to or who he is, he always seems to mess it up. I don’t buy the old paintings of an impossibly white-old-man God with a big beard- I know that’s not right. I don’t think a painting could really capture him at all. Nature gives more of a hint, but even that’s an imperfect portrait as well.
Sometimes I have some sort of experience or something happens and I learn something about his character, and my immediate reaction is to pounce upon it and say, “Ha! This is what God is like!” But then he always manages to show me that it is far far more complicated than that. Lewis, I think, captures it best.
“Images, I must suppose, have their use or they would not have been so popular…To me, however, their danger is more obvious. Images of the Holy easily become holy images- sacrosanct. My idea of God is not a divine idea. It has to be shattered time after time. He shatters it Himself. He is the great iconoclast. Could we not almost say that this shattering is one of the marks of His presence? The Incarnation is the supreme example; it leaves all previous ideas of the Messiah in ruins. And most are ‘offended’ by iconoclasm; and blessed are those who are not. But the same thing happens in our private prayers. All reality is iconoclastic” (A Grief Observed, 83).
Would we really want a God who was just what we expected?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thoughts are welcome!