"What God Looks Like"
November 16, 2008
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7
It was one of those moments when a mother thought her daughter was SO quiet that she had to check and see what was going on.
Mom was delighted to see her little girl busily at work at her desk, drawing a picture. "Who's that?" the mother asked, looking at the picture. "It's God", was the reply. The mother said, "But darling, nobody knows what God looks like." The little girl matter-of-factly stated, "They will when I'm finished."
That's an old story, but it conveys a very real truth: everybody, even unbelievers, have an idea of what God looks like.
Some people paint the Lord mean and angry; others give Him a long, white beard. Still, others think of Him as a ghost or a vast expanse of nothingness.
None of those ideas adequately describes the God I see in my soul's center.
I think God looks like love.
Now that I'm 60, I can think back on the main people from whom I have received love: my parents, spouse, children, friends, teachers, friends in my parishes, occasionally the total stranger. Love has come to me in many ways, but none has been more pure or strong than that which I have received in the Person of Jesus.
When I see God's Son leave heaven to be born in a stable, I see love in an Infant. When I see Him praying in the Garden, I see love in His commitment. On the cross, the Father's love is shown in His Son's sacrifice, and the resurrection day proudly proclaims His loving victory.
It is a victory, which Jesus has shared with you and me.
So, let the artists paint Jesus as they wish. Me, no matter how I see Him, I always see Him colored with love.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear God, Your love surrounds me, keeps me safe, and gives me peace. Help me to paint that picture of Your love for the world around me. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries