The Alternative Kick-Ass god
Let’s face it. God has an Achilles heel, a soft spot. He/she is not only vulnerable, but ALL- VULNERABLE! There is simply no other way to explain both the existence of a loving Creator and the pain, the suffering, the indifference, the barbarism that engulfs our world and has done so since the beginning of all beginnings. Oh yes, there’s that ALL-POWERFUL side as well but it must act in coordination, conformity with its entire nature. Just the thought of that picture of God to many, even most persons of faith, is simply anathema. Just as vast numbers of Jewish people have for years too many to count, longed for the arrival of their Mashiach, their Messiah, One who would make His victorious entrance seated upon a white horse, flaming sword in hand ushering in a new age, one of fairness and equity (as we see equity and fairness of course), so too, does our world yearn for the same. When One showed up that didn’t measure up to their expectations (because of his vulnerability), they said no thanks! We want our god to be a kick-ass ALL-POWERFUL kind of god and not a suffering servant – period end of story! We would do the same today. Though we wouldn’t freely confess it, we really want the alternative one, not the real deal. Well, this is one case where we aren’t going to have our cake and eat it too. There’s no other way!
We live in a world of alternative facts, suggesting that all truth is subjective, that there is no objectivity. Just as there can be alternative facts, so too can there be the alternative god, a figment of our self-serving imaginations, a manufacture from the hearts of men, a deity created in our image to do our bidding, giving cover for our self-justifications. In many circles, it’s the god of choice.
We read in the Older Testament how the Hebrews, after four hundred years of bitter bondage in Egypt being miraculously set free, then not long thereafter, questioning the ALL-POWERFUL or nothing nature of their Deliverer, finding themselves crafting a golden calf to worship, an alternative god. We call that a blasphemous act and them as idolaters. We do exactly the same. Many of us lay claim to the revelation of the Heart of God, yet we read it with hearts of stone. How long has this alternative god been around? I say that he, yes he, has existed since we took the Creator of the Universe and molded him/her into a finite religious dualist theology, made in our image!
When we think of those who would make themselves vulnerable, we see them as weak, an object of pity, like the kid on the beach who gets sand kicked in his face by the bully. Many of us, perhaps most and in the main young men, were taught early on, to shun vulnerability. Be strong. Don’t cry. We are so f—-d up! Yet a man who is not ashamed to make himself vulnerable and weep publicly, is a special man indeed! Most women do this so much better than men. It’s in the emptying of ourselves, our vulnerability, that the Divine can do battle for us. We spend so much fruitless time with our walls up, afraid to let go of the rope, questioning how an ALL-VULNERABLE God can catch us, desperately trying to defend ourselves, not realizing that as long as we shun vulnerability, we dishonor the Divine image in which we were created. Vulnerability is not weakness but is the portal through which the Love and Power of God flows. It can be made manifest no other way.
Does not the Divine search the four corners of our world looking for empty vessels that He/She can fill? This too takes a disciplined focus committed to emptiness, for the self will always strive to fill the void, to have its way. What we all need is not more of ourselves but less – much less, possessing hearts that aren’t separate from that of the Divine, but the same! The kick-ass god sees only what is in front of its nose whereas the God of Creation, the ALL-VULNERABLE God, sees forever.
Several years ago, my Mother passed away. I recall sharing that with clients of mine. Not ten seconds had passed when the wife of the couple asked me, “Did she know the LORD?” What she was really asking was, did she go to heaven or did she go to hell? Did she know the LORD? I wonder how many professing Christians have yet to truly hear their Gospel, the Good News. They may know the person of Jesus, but do they know the Christ? My client worshipped a god that was big on judgement and small on vulnerability. Her god was the kick-ass god, the god of black and white, in and out, heaven and hell. It’s the god of religion and separation, us and them. I hope my client has grown some since then. I think life has helped her do so.
The true God of Creation, won’t ultimately be found between the covers of a book. He/She is not a theology, but rather, is a Loving Experience who transcends the finite and is not afraid to cry. So, the next time your heart aches upon the hearing or seeing of an insensitive encounter perpetrated against another, know this (as I experienced this morning), that pain you feel within, is really the breaking of a heart made up of two hearts, yours and that of the ALL-VULNERABLE God.