28 Jul 2018

What does God look like?

A Sunday School teacher asks a child what she's drawing.
"God" the child says, colouring enthusiastically.
The teacher says "But we don't know what God looks like."
The child replies, knowingly: "That's because I'm not finished yet!"

Watching a storm approach
     Have you ever noticed that we often speak about what God looks like? For some, it's nature - a sunset or a flower blooming. For some, it's in peace and justice initiatives - UN peacekeepers or Doctors Without Borders. For some, it's in community-builders - Habitat for Humanity Volunteers or the neighbour who coordinates book club.
     God is easy to see, when we are willing to look. What a blessing that is! I imagine we all have an answer to the question of what God looks like for us.

     But sight is not our only sense; far from it. But we don't often challenge ourselves to think about how we experience God through our other senses.

     What does God sound like? An early morning birdsong, a perfectly performed piece musical score, a welcome silence after a day of urban cacophony?

     What does God taste like? The sweetness of a just-picked cherry still warm from the sun, the velvet bitterness of the morning's first coffee, the decadent complexity of a sharp local cheese?

     What does God feel like? The effervescence of champagne bubbles as they dance on the tongue, the all-encompassing refreshment of jumping in a cool lake on a hot summer's day, the delicate warmth of a child in our arms?

     What does God smell like? The steamy and yeasty delight of fresh bread coming out of the oven, the crisp saltiness of sea breeze, the pleasant earthiness of rain that ends a dry spell?

     We are privileged to have the divine presence all around us, making itself known in all areas of our lives. And we are given the senses with which to do so.
     Today, as we go about our lives, I invite us to spend time being aware that God is not limited to our vision alone, but to all of our senses.

     As we love God with our whole selves, may we open our whole selves to the love of God.

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