Sunday, February 8, 2009

I Know What God Looks Like

As I drove home one evening from a conversation with God, the dark clouds lit up with lightning across the entire sky over Calgary. On the way home, I felt just like this picture looks. That's what the sky looked like that night. Funny how it was sent to me just when I was feeling the way the picture looks.

It's all bright and beautiful and successful and growing and memorable and a great competitor in the world. It's glossy and bright and generously basted in blessings. And overhead a storm is crackling back and forth. The lightning is unsettling, imparting a feeling of danger, maybe. And it is amazing and beautiful and mesmerizing as well.

This picture happens to be Calgary taken last July. That's how it looked and how I felt coming home that night. I watched it, but I was part of it as well. It was me. I was it.

I know what God looks like. That day I saw God. Well. I've seen God quite a few times actually. Please don't get all hung up on the word. Feel free to substitute any word you wish like "higher power", "karma", "reason", "fate", "wisdom", "destiny", "powers that be", "instinct", "guardian angel", "logic", "revelation", "intuition", "Yahweh", whatever you want to call it. I like "God" because it's a nice easy 3-letter word. Just make a mental note that I mean for it to cover everyone's beliefs or disbeliefs.

I know what God looks like, as I said. And as I said, I've seen God a few times now. God looks different every time. To me, anyway. I'm sure when you see God, God looks way different to you than God does to me.

I even took a picture. Of course I'd take a picture. Please.

God looks a little like Mrs. Doubtfire, wouldn't you say? Actually, God has like 4 or 6 sisters or something and they all sort of look like Mrs. Doubtfire in a variety of sizes. Do you know how difficult it is to remember the names of a bunch of various-sized Mrs Doubtfires when you meet them all at the same moment? No. You have no idea.

Yeah, yeah. Whatever. If God can look like George Burns with a big stogie, God can look a bit like Mrs. Doubtfire. My God can, anyway. Yours can look like George Burns if you want. I believe God has many faces and can show up in the strangest of places. But. God only ever looks like the ones who love you without motive. That's the hitch.

She's one of the unspouse's aunties. Well. I'm adopted and he's disowned (I'm kidding, but I do see her a lot more than he does) so she's mine now.

I called her that day. Then I went to pick her up. I waited a few minutes, strolling through her yard, checking out her gardens, for her to get back from an errand then we'd be on our way.

We chirped happily at one another in the car then I treated her to one of her favorite restaurants. I had dinner with God. And after dinner with God, I took God to get some produce. When I walked God to the door, carrying the groceries and God's "stoopid laundry" that she forgot in her car, I was invited in for a conversation.

Here's one of God and me together.

And so that night I had a conversation with God. And it made me go home feeling like this picture.

Have you ever felt this way? Have you ever felt all bright and shiny and attractive and full of activity ... while you try to be all nonchalant about the storm crackling about in the periphery of your bright, attractive, shininess?

During my conversation with God, I realized there is a moment hovering on the horizon. Deciding what I want to be when I grow up. That moment. It's coming.

I felt like that picture. Flashes of electrical emotion shot through me intermittently. I felt a bit nauseous. I felt emotionally on edge but I'm not sure if it was happy or not-so-happy emotion. I could probably have squirted happy or sad, or maybe both, tears at the drop of a hat, in a blink of an eye, or in a single heartbeat.

I've never done anything this big for myself by myself before. Whatever I did before, I had support of some kind or other, whether it was moral or academic or someone who was at least around to just tell the kids when it was bedtime. It was even financial a time or two.

When I went to high school I worked nearly full time at the same time. I graduated top of my class. I was able to do that because I lived with my parents.

When I went to college, I didn't have to worry because I had scholarships and bursaries and parents willing to help if need be.

I remember being internally driven and running with it because I knew the ones who love me formed a safety net above, under and all around me. I remember breaking down in tears having driven myself hard and finished a 9 month course in 3. I had to. I "needed" to be ready for the January intake in Vancouver at the college there. I remember it being very okay with me to break down for an hour or so. I felt I'd earned it.

I have been the provider of the moral, emotional, spousal, co-parental and financial support for someone else.

I felt like that picture because I had a conversation with God that night. I was working through some major trepidation.

I had a conversation with God, who looked like Mrs. Doubtfire. I know once again, it's deep breath and LEAP time. But this is the first time I'll have to leap AND catch. It's just me. It's coming. Soon I must quit thinking, quit talking and just leap as soon as I understand what it is I want to be when I grow up.

Dammit. And I thought I'd arrived at a place in life where I could rest a bit.

Has anyone else seen God? What does God look like to you?


  1. * looks down blushing and drags her toe in the dirt *

    Thanks, Angela. I appreciate that coming from you.

  2. It reminds me of the story of the maharajah that let six blind men who had never seen an elephant come and feel one. Each man felt a different part of the elephant, so when they were discussing it afterwards, they had quite the argument about what an elephant was really like, until the maharajah overheard them and set them straight, saying that the elephant was ALL of the things they said--they were all right.

    God is really really big. If anyone claims they have seen all there is to see of him, just remember that they are a blind man who felt a trunk once.

    So... what ARE you going to be when you grow up?

  3. I haven't the first freaking clue. Yet.


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