What if God isn’t impersonal but formless?

There have been many losses as I have deconstructed the faith I inherited.  One of the more difficult has been the loss of relating to God in the way I would relate to a human friend.  I grew up in a expression of Christian faith that taught Christianity as having a personal relationship with God.  I liked that.  After all who wouldn’t want someone whose hands had flung stars into space to be their friend.

This was a helpful starting place, for the concept of God a person is definable and manageable.  Yet there was always a nagging dissonance between my notion of what a friend was and the reality of this “personal relationship”.   How could I enjoy the companionship of someone who didn’t verbally contribute much in conversation?   How could I really know someone whose thoughts often suspiciously echoed my own!

When I discovered the contemplative path, I begun to see God in a more expansive way.  I experienced Gods peace through meditation, and recognised Gods hand in a sunset or a walk through the forest.  It was beautiful and meaningful, but it wasn’t personal.  I loved and revered the largeness of God, but grieved what felt like to the loss of a personal relationship.

One of the problems with the word God is that it creates an image in our minds of a person.  It may be an old man with a white beard, a blue goddess with 8 arms, an icon, or Jesus in jeans. Each reduces all that God is into human form.  But God is not human, and no form can convey all that God is.  When we give God a name, and a gender (he!) we limit God to a single form.  Maybe that is why God gives so many different names and images when asked for one?

Love itself is without form, although it takes on many forms.  A mother nurturing her child.  A prisoner of war sharing their only piece of stale bread.  A man dying on a cross.  Each act a perfect but partial expression of divine love we know as God.  It is the formlessness of Devine love that enables it to express itself so freely in so many ways.

The same formlessness that enables God to be truly personal.  For Devine Love lives within me, and I live in Devine love.  God is the air that I breath, and you can’t get closer than that.

So maybe it is time to let go of my outdated notion of God as form to allow Devine Love to be truly present with me, in me, and through me.  To recognise my very life as an extension of this love and to live in relationship with it.  The closest of companions.

What if God says yes!

The god I was raised with always had a slight frown on his face.  Much pain was taken to ensure I had sufficient fear of all the things God said no to, so that I would avoid them.  So, I tiptoed through life, careful not to take a wrong step; it was not a particularly joyous way to life, but at least I was safe.  But, If the god we know lacks colour, life will always feel a little beige.  If the god we know is like a oversensitive parent seeing danger round every corner, we will live in fear.  If the god we know frowns, we will curb our joy to protect ourselves from the sting of his disapproval. Yet….

What if God is smiling?

Throwing open all of life in its vibrancy and colour; inviting us to enjoy all she has created with a grin spread across her face.

This is the God I see when I take of my goggles of preconception and really look, as if for the first time.  I see a god with a big enough sense of humour to create some of the weird and wonderful creatures that walk this earth and swim its seas.  I see a God who creates a delicate flower that serves no purpose other than to frivolously touch the world with its fleeting beauty.  I see diversity embraced and celebrated, and creativity and exploration encouraged.  How does such vibrancy come from a god so bland?

What if God is bigger than fear?

Big enough to allow us freedom?  When mistakes inevitably happen, could it be possible that God is neither shocked, nor worried, but more than able to lovingly help us pick up the pieces of our broken world, and heal our aching hearts?

What if we desire rules because we are the ones who are scared?  For, if we are made in God’s image, how can our truest desires lead us astray?

What if God says yes?

like a loving parent excitedly introducing their child to new box of Lego.  Longing to co-create with them.  Taking pleasure in their joy?

What if Devine will is not a tightrope but a wide-open space?  What might happen if we truly allowed ourselves to hope and dream?  What if we allowed ourselves the gift of enjoying life with all its risks and imperfections.  What if we said yes back?