How do you picture God?

I’m in the midst of doing some research about the history of the Holy Spirit in the church for our teaching week on the Holy Spirit. While searching for articles that talk about that, I came across this blog post by Richard Liantonio which is a good reminder and challenge to the way I think about God. Sometimes I picture God as a calm, staid, far-off father. Sometimes I imagine him as a grandfather-like figure that I can run to and sit in his lap and tell him all my troubles. But I had never thought of God like  this before. I wish I could remember this, and remember the passion that God has for me, for us, at all times.

(I’ve included the first half of the post, click the link to read the rest.)

God is like a Crazy Screaming Woman

Picture the scene – a homely middle eastern woman of late antiquity runs out of her house frantically flailing her arms, the rough weave of her woolen head covering flying about. Shouting and screaming, barely able to keep her sandals on her feet amidst the scurrying through the dusty street, her voice rises to its shrillest peaks. Her friends and neighbors, who like herself don’t have a telephone and are neither routinely subject to great thrills and enthusiasms, poke their heads out their doors, with ears perked up at the seeming prospect of exciting news.  Their curiosity near boiling, one by one they lay aside their brooms, pitchers, and pestles, encircling her with eyes peeled. Out of her pocket she whips a tiny item, barely visible from a few feet away. Straining and squinting their eyes, they muster all their concentration to no avail, because she is hysterically waving it over head while jumping up and down and expectorating squeals of laughter. When she finally and ever-so-slightly calms down, she stretches out her hand for her friends to see the small silver coin she had been brandishing about — but only for a moment — because as soon she knows they are aware of what happened, she is quickly back at full throttle – bouncing, screaming, jumping and all other actions typically associated with boisterous (and mentally unbalanced) revelry. She had lost one of the ten coins in her possession, and after lighting her lamp, sweeping her house, and searching carefully, she found it. In her excitement and joy upon finding the coin, she could hardly help engaging in the — if we were honest — silly looking behavior just described.

Whether her friends joined in her excitement, or were slightly irritated on account of the interruption in their day, or embarrassed owing to her wild antics, Jesus never lets on. Rather, he gets right to the point:

I tell you: there is joy like this before the angels because one sinner turns… (Luke 15:10)

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