Who is God to you?
This past Saturday, I went to the Jewish Contemporary Museum in San Francisco. When I was invited to go by a friend of mine, I automatically imagined a stereotypical historical Jewish museum where I would be traveling back in time to the holocaust. I imagined myself walking around and looking at pictures and reading stories where I would leave puffy eyed and emotional. THIS museum was nothing like that at all, in fact it was showing where the Jewish culture has been since those horrific events, what they have accomplished outside of that and where they are now. It was absolutely beautiful.
What was most inspiring about the museum, was noticing that each piece of artwork was an answer to the same question that each artist was asking. My friend noted in a status that the question was, "God, who are you?", they all asked it, but they all received different answers yet from the same God. Crazy
. I've come to understand that God has a personality that is complex and filled with so many different attributes, that we as individual human beings could not even begin to really get to know them all. BUT,
we as a human race can come to know who God is collectively because to each of us he is something different. He can be a provider for one person, a father to the fatherless teenager, a groom to the lonely widow, the hand of wrath to someone who has been defying him for years, and the saving hand to the person stuck in their own ditch. To each of us, God can be someone different.
At the museum, I was looking at a painting where the description said that it could be viewed as a shell, a cave, or a flower, I personally saw a shell but my friend saw a cave. This
is how God is, he can be the shell, the cave and the flower, the provider, the father, the groom, the hand of wrath, AND the saving hand. HeCAN
be all those things at the same thing because he IS
all those things.
He is everything we need, and everything we don't know we need. This is why when we accept Christ into our lives, that's it! We're set! We honestly do not need anything else... Just him. But life gets complicated, our human emotions overwhelm us, our desires and frustrations consume us so we fill our lives and our homes with all this stuff we think we need. But in reality, we really don't. Maybe this is why we (or maybe its just me) feel so content in the midst of nature, because its simple. In nature, there's nothing artificial or fake. It's a raw experience and we encounter God head on without anything to negatively affect that experience.Another painting I had the chance of seeing at the museum was a simple portrait with straight lines and plain colors. I thought to myself, "Why is this in here? Its not that special." Then I read the description and the artist talked about why he created it that way he said, "To be simple, is to be spiritual." Oh what...YES!
Think about it... if God is everything we say he is, then that means outside of him we neednothing
else, just him. "To be simple, is to be spiritual." because all we need is him.
This is a recurring idea in our lives as believers, we hear it all the time. "You don't need that new car, you don't need that money, or that guy or girl... all you need is Jesus." Sure it gets cheesy, and maybe the message is watered down to us now but being at that museum made it come alive for me again.
"To be simple.... is to be spiritual." Because all we need is Jesus.
After I left that museum, my inspiration cup was overflowing.
I was also just blown away at the idea that this museum had "religious" and "spiritual" ideals swimming all throughout the portraits, the sculptures, through every quote on the wall. God himself was present in that building and it was a fantastic experience.
The thing that I love about art (and nature) is that you don't have to find God in them, he's just there so very present and so very ready for us to encounter him. Even in the poetry realm, especially with spoken word (which is a very secular environment) people who have a talented way of re-telling stories so that an audience can feel it over and over again, they have a way of explaining experiences in a way where you can feel as if it happened to you. They are connecting with the God who created them and they don't even know it. They are asking all the right questions, "God where are you?", "God do you love me?", "God can you hear me?", "God who are you?" they are asking all these questions but they're getting their answers in poems, in photographs, through their paintbrushes and in the clay that their hands mold. He's saying to each of them, "I'm right here", "Yes I love you", "I am always listening and always responding...can you hear me?", and lastly he says over and and over again, "I am, who I am." That means something different to you, and that means something different to me. How awesome.
Comforter, Shepard, King of Kings, Creator, Refuge, El Olam, Jehovah Nissi, El Shaddai, I am who I am.