Monday, 29 July 2013


'For you are God,
and you don't miss a thing'. 

We drive a lot at the moment, Beth squashed into her car seat and distracted by cornflakes in a box, the Ukrainian summer ambling part (the Lada doesn't rush) and it is beautiful. It's also time to think. I've been mulling a lot lately about if God is good or bad - really, really, if we stop saying pat answers and making excuses for the Old Testament bloodbaths and the crusades and all that, if we're honest. Is he good? 

He is Him self and that's somewhat epic because of that whole he is the source of all and any intelligence thing he's got going on. You know, that whole being God thing. I wonder what that's like. 

I think for me one of the most challenging things about this faith is the tensions.
Is God here hugging me when I cry or is he off moving galaxies? Yes.
Is he one God or three persons? Yes.
Is God simple and easy to understand or endlessly higher than my intellect? Yes.
Does he want to punish sin or would he forgive a rapist? Yes.

Is he a judge or a loving daddy? Yes.

Lately I've been learning about how God loves his kids - kind of predictable because we fairly recently had a kid but all those sermonators weren't lying. When you have children you learn about God as a dad.
Sorry but i'm going to veer off into stupidly in love with my daughter territory for a minute. She smells so good that I think I could get high off her cuddles, she is so delightful that even when she's being a little git i'm proud of her 'strength of character', she is perfectly and wonderfully made. Everything she does is this ridiculous achievement that I call John in to see and also anyone within a two mile radius. You're welcome, world.

And I know all that stuff in the Bible about God being a good father but he's so big that surely that's a technicality, a formal relationship conducted mainly in a study or a library and then back to the nanny we go?

Obviously He doesn't let me stay there in my thinking. When me and B are rolling around in a giggling ball or when she's tickling daddy or when we're learning to rub noses and I could stare cross eyed at her face for hours
that's when a little voice whispers
'I feel this way about her too. And about you.'

Which is more than my silly heart can handle - I understand the logic, the relationship that we have with God because of Jesus, we're part of the family but to think that God wants to stare cross eyed into mine? That he is super excited about what we do? That he laughs when we laugh? That he invented rolling around giggling? That whole 'check out my boy Job' conversation, I see a proud dad there. And hens with wings for Jerusalem, that's a mummy metaphor. It's all through the Bible, this thread of us as his kids like gold running through humanity's story.

So loving daddy? Yes.
The judge. Yes.
Still good? When we talk about hell, judgement, discipline, punishment, Holy...still good?

Some beautiful friends gave John the Bethel Loft Sessions DVD (it's worship music and it's pretty and they've got some token hipsters in there so I feel quite cool watching it, get in) and there's a song all about how God knows us so intimately, like a dad. So far so la la la. There's a line that says 'You are God, and you don't miss a thing'.
I know it's meant to be about ourselves but I found myself sobbing over a girl that I've come to care for, she lives in an orphanage and I felt something of what God the daddy feels when he see what is being done to his children. He is God. And he doesn't miss a thing.

That should scare us.

He doesn't miss a thing. 

Our cheap clothes made by slaves?

He doesn't miss a thing.

Our fuel burning the earth?

He doesn't miss a thing.

Our selfishness,
our global disregard for others,
our willful ignorance,
our personal selfishness?

He doesn't miss a thing.

When we leave our lovers? When we break promises we never had the guts to make in the first place?

He doesn't miss a thing.

Children trafficked for rape? Children dying from runny poo? Brides burned alive for dowry?

He doesn't miss a thing.

He is God.
Because he is a loving daddy, he cares what I do to his other children, and he will not raise feckless sinners. He protects me from my sin but he also protects everyone else from it too.

So a judge? Punishing sin? And still good? I reckon so.

To repeat myself: He is God. I wonder what that's like.

Don't have to wonder, can see it, have been shown it, in Jesus. Loving to the point of pissing off many people who would like a more religious messiah thank you very much, loving enough to be completely inappropriate socially (that's my excuse), loving enough to get really angry at sin. Loving enough to take the worst results of sin - torture, loneliness, betrayal, injustice, despair, death - loving enough to say 'it's on me' and then to actually take it on yourself? To judge sin and to take the place, to take the punishment of the sinner? Justice is done and yet...I walk free. 

Turns out, being God will get you killed.

So a loving daddy or a judge? Yes.
It's basic stuff but it still blows me away, even without the cross I could happily understand his goodness. With the cross? The question becomes
'loving daddy
or judge
or astoundingly determined to win us, completely merciful and ridiculously lavish?


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