Beyond Words

religion (1)

Amy knelt on the hard-wooden floor of the tiny church. 

“Our Father,” the pastor began to pray.

How could God be like a father? Is He like my Father? she wondered. 

Unwanted images flooded her mind. Subconsciously, she felt the scars on her shoulders. She remembered the fights and broken green glass of the alcohol bottles spread all over the kitchen floor. She remembered hiding under her bed, but even that couldn’t block the sound of her mother’s screaming and crying as her father beat her in a drunken rage. 

The next day after the hangover was mostly over, he would be so nice. He would apologize to all of them, promise to not get drunk again and stop wasting their money at the liquor store. But they were just words. His promises were like the everchanging wind. It wouldn’t take long for him to forget, and he would come home drunk late at night. The cycle would begin all over again. 

Could God be like that? If He was, then she didn’t want anything to do with Him. But how could she really know what He was like?

We live in a broken world. The metaphorical mirrors that reflected God are tainted and cracked by the sinful world we live in. For example, God is love, but is that the love we may have experienced? Could it be a manipulative love? Could it be neglect? Could it be just plain words without any actions? Could it be more like a contract? 

We’re not the first that have wondered about God’s character. God knew that for humans to truly know Him, they needed more than just words. They needed more than imperfect metaphors of a perfect God. And, that’s the beauty of God. He became more than words. He came down to this earth to show us who He really is. I love how the apostle John phrases it.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John. 1:14 NKJV

In Jesus, we can see the perfection of God’s character. Instead of just words about God, Jesus actively came down to this world to show us what love means. 

“He is the image of the invisible God,” Col. 1:15 NKJV. Because of Jesus, we don’t have to look at imperfect metaphors to define God’s character, but we can see who God is.  

So, don’t let imperfect people point you away from a perfect God. Look beyond the words to the One who lived them.

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