In fact, the personal name of God, Yahweh, which is revealed to Moses in Exodus 3, is a remarkable combination of both female and male grammatical endings. The first part of God’s name in Hebrew, “Yah,” is feminine, and the last part, “weh,” is masculine.
What do you think God looks like?
He has brown hair and green eyes. What do you think God looks like?
I think God looks like love.
What does love look like?
That’s a good question. There are different kinds of love like the romantic love between your parents. There is the love a Nana has for her grandchildren. There is the love between siblings and the love between friends.
I think love looks like rainbows.
I think God has rainbow hair and rainbow eyes.
Cool! Is God male or female?
I think God is transgendered.
Wow, I think that’s amazing.
When my sons were young, I found the best place to have conversations with them was in the car because they were a captive audience. Our talks weren’t always serious; there was a mixture of fun shenanigans such as burping contests, making artificial fart noises with their arm pits and deciding whose song was playing on the radio as well as discussions ranging from sex to religion to … anything. Our minivan was a conversational confab group on wheels.
Seems this holds true now with my grandchildren as the above repartee between me and my granddaughter demonstrates. Her astute insight was cut short by our arriving at our destination. I did not get to ask her, for example, if she knows the meaning of the word transgendered.
Having taken a page out of his mother’s book, my son and daughter-in-law have been open in sharing about the topic of sex with her—age appropriately of course—so it is quite possible she knows exactly what she means. Either way, her acute evaluation of God’s gender identity shows a sharper awareness of God beyond the labels that many adults impose upon God. This will come in handy for her now and into adulthood as she navigates loving others the way Jesus teaches us to love.
Having been a follower of Jesus for most of my life, I have often wondered about his physical appearance. I use to believe that I needed to know what he looked like in order to fulfill a deep longing for an intimate and loving relationship with him as his follower.
In the Jewish Bible, Isaiah describes him as having “no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.” The author of Hebrews from the Christian New Testament says, “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature …”
Clearly his character is far more important than his features.
I would still like to know what he looked like when he was here in form, yet I am content to seek and see his temperament, disposition, uprightness—God’s Christ consciousness–within my fellow human beings.
I was waiting on a client to bring her car around to load her groceries from the food pantry. The sun was in my eyes and I guess it must have looked like I was scowling. David—himself a client/volunteer–asked if there was a smile under my mask. Seeing Christ in his eyes and peace in his countenance, I removed my mask and smiled, thankful for the reminder.
Not feeling particularly happy with what I was wearing one morning as I entered JCCM, an older gentleman client told me I looked nice. Seated on a bench outside the building, his appearance was disheveled and gaunt yet with an inward strength of Presence. Christ was in his eyes as well and I knew his out-of-the-blue compliment was not a come on, but a sincere, encouraging word. I thanked him and complimented him on the lovely cross hanging from his neck.
Debra, with bedraggled clothing and rumpled hair, helped me unload a cart of free breads and pastries onto a table in the front of JCCM. I do not remember what we talked about as we worked together, all I know is I felt a calm reassurance emanating from her as we did.
I was recently diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma, and I am just so grateful. Do not misunderstand me, I am not grateful for the cancer, but for the ways I have seen and am seeing Christ …
… in the care and concern of my doctors,
… in the love and affection of my family and friends,
… in the joy and playfulness of my dog, Polly,
… in the beauty of nature,
… in the serenity of mundane tasks,
… in acts of compassion and mercy and kindness of strangers …
Have you ever felt so grateful that you simply cry? I have. I do. I am now.
Christ is everywhere in everyone and everything. In Christ we—all of us, each and every human being ever and always–live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).
We are here to help each other heal as St. Francis of Assisi makes clear in his “Peace Prayer.”
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Being awakened to Christ is to die now because eternal life is being an instrument of Peace now!
I think this is what Indian poet and mystic, Kabir Das meant when he wrote the following:
” I have
from Him how
brought my love
where there is
no sun and moon
I have tasted
of the sweetness
and without water,
I have quenched
… my thirst. ” …
( from: Songs of Kabir )
In peace and gratitude …