Wokingham Today

The face of God


IWONDER what the face of God might look like. From the first stirrings of Homo sapiens ability to think metaphysic­ally, we have wondered what God looks like. We have gone through several stages and beliefs over the millennia. From animism to polytheism and monotheism.

To some extent animist and polytheist thought makes it simpler, in that the gods are personifie­d, so we see representa­tion.

But monotheism is different.

It is different because you can only have one image, and that image should be universal, surely? But we know from experience that isn’t so.

In my cultural setting, the image of God is often a white bloke with a beard on a cloud. It may be a cliché now, but it’s a clichéd image that’s hard to shake.

But I thought what does the face of God look like to me? If I don’t see Him as the bearded guy on high, who or what do I see Him as?

Is ‘He’ even a He?

So I thought and thought and my mind was blank. Then I remembered a moment from a few years ago.

I was at a stone circle in Cornwall, surrounded by sheep, and the heavens opened. It rained so hard you couldn’t see the other end of the field.

My wife and I, as well as the sheep, took shelter under a hawthorn tree. But my son, who was two at the time, he stayed out and he danced among the stones laughing away.

That is God.

The rain, the laughter, the sheep, the tree, the stones, the memory, the joy. This is the face of God for me. The simple joy of nature and love. I see now, it is no mere human face.

What does the face of God look like to you?

Adam Couchman is a member of Wokingham Baptist Church, writing on behalf of Churches Together in Wokingham

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