Jesus answered, "You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand."
~ John 13: 7
How is it that God is revealed to you?
Years ago when I was just beginning the ordination process, someone on my ordination committee asked me to share how God is revealed to me? At the time I was in the middle of a process theology class at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, so I began sharing what several theologians had written in my attempt to answer the question. She then looked at me and said, "Okay, so how is God revealed to you?"
She wasn't going to allow my new-found knowledge to explain my faith, or who God is. This was to be my experience.
I immediately thought of the birth of my children, and before that, my grandfather telling me how he knew there was a God after having meningitis as a youth and sharing that he felt God's hand touch him. I remembered how I was fascinated by the creek that ran in front of our home, and how the water would find its way down the holler, even when winter's touch had all but stopped the flow by turning it to ice. There were my uncles, along with my dad, who would come together and sing hymns that told the stories of faithful men and women, and what God had done. There have been both tears of joy and of sorrow that have been inspired by intimate encounters in life, both made known because I felt the presence of God.
God is revealed in those that I love and who have loved me. Through God's grace and forgiveness, I have been able to move beyond moments where I felt that I would never recover. Through friends, some amazing teachers who nurtured me, pastors, my children and my spouse... they all have revealed who God is to me.
But even as I continued to share how God is revealed, I realized that I was only being given a glimpse of who God truly is. God is greater than any example, any love shared, goodness that has been experienced, or the beauty I my eyes have seen. God is revealed to each of us only in snapshots.
I suddenly realized that God is revealed to each of us in the very common moments, and those that have changed our lives forever. The people in our lives are part of that expression. The older I get, the more I realize God will not be revealed entirely until we have encountered the last day of our life. Only then will God be completely revealed and completely known.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.