We were talking about God – is God a ‘He?’ is God a ‘She?’ is God ‘Something Else?’ – and we all had views on this night at the campus home of these university friends with all these other friends, while our kids, the whole brood and mix of them, were in another room watching a movie.
My only contribution was that whatever God is as both a Spirit and, somehow, a ‘Person,’ we, on this side of eternity, only see what Paul said, like in a hazy mirror.
Even so, it seems to me that we have a pretty good picture of it all for the simple reason that, in God’s image, we are made both male and female.
The longer I am a parent, the more profound I find this, that God’s nature is sown into creation, not only from the smallest sub-atom to the largest star, but into our everyday experiences and relationships, especially in families slogging through this earthly journey together.
This is not to say that everyone is meant to get married or have children – Jesus himself said as much by his very life. But it’s through our ups and downs in families where God, I believe, has written much of ‘His’ nature.
Even most non-believers would concede this: children crave both the gentle love of a mother and disciplined direction of a father. But it’s believers who may have a leg up in knowing in a deeper and more profound way how God’s heart must ache when we go astray, when we’re stubborn, when we throw a little fit (of course, my own children never ever throw a fit or anything else onto the ground) … just as that heart must jump with joy when we do well, when we ride that hill, when we ace that test.
The brood of children eventually came out of the other room from watching their movie, as they have done before on these sorts of lazy evenings at our friends’ house. And one of them said ‘Daddy’ and another one said ‘Mommy,’ either with words or with their actions, jumping on a knee perhaps, or just standing close by to get a back-rub.
So while we can always speculate more about God and exactly what He or She is – I think getting twisted into too many knots about it amounts to one of those never-ending discussions about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
We have been given enough information, at least for now. We have been given each other.