(Part four of the Creed series)
We like to know powerful people. We like people who can get things done. We like connections. We like to know who to call.
When the water heater was leaking and I was out of town, I was glad I could call Tom. When I couldn’t understand financial stuff, I was glad I could call Sun. When I can’t, I call.
So the creed says, “I believe in God the Father, Almighty.” A God who is all-power-full. Someone who can do, not just something, but everything. Someone who can be not just a little mighty, but all-mighty.
And the convergence of Father and Almighty is at once terrifying and comforting and gut-wrenching.
It’s terrifying when you blend the idea of an abusing father with being all powerful. Where can you turn? Where can you run? Where can you hide?
It’s comforting when you blend the idea of a loving father with being all powerful. Who can touch you? Who can strip away your identity? Who could separate you from that love?
It’s gut-wrenching when you balance the idea of a loving, all-powerful father with watching your daughter die. Or watching an adoption that would rescue a child fall through your fingers. Or watching a marriage dissolve.
At those moments, either God must not be a loving father or God much not be almighty. Because clearly, if you ask me, a loving almighty God couldn’t possibly let that happen.
But, to be blunt, if how God acts depends on what we understand, then God isn’t almighty. We are. Our understanding, rather than God’s, decides what counts as God.
I can’t believe that.
Sometimes you say “I believe” when that’s what you hope for rather than when that’s what you feel. Because that’s when it’s faith.