Is God Not Expected or Not Welcomed? – ll
Updated: Feb 18, 2019
What does it mean for God to “show up”?
One popular notion is God “shows up” to fixe our problems, e.g.: cancel or minimize the consequences of our decisions, mend broken hearts or send cash. And if things worked out to our benefit, well then of course it “was God” Who showed up and “blessed us.” But if troubles remain, then God did not “show up.”
Another way to think of God as “showing up” is by His mystical Presence.
People who experience this speak of God as “In their hearts or sensing His presence” Nothing needs to change for them to believe in the ultimate goodness of God. Circumstances remain the same, hearts still grieve and no money has been deposited. Yet somehow, these folks powerfully encounter the Divine so they are left comforted. He changes everything. And nothing.
But for most people, God is not expected to show up in their lives.
For most people, God is unexpected, but not unwelcome. There isn’t a “Do Not Disturb” sign hanging on the doorknob of their souls. These people just don’t expect God – or anyone – to show up in their lives. Or anywhere else for that matter.
God obliges them by not showing up.
No matter what.
Sometimes He doesn't show up.
For good people, or not so good people, or even His people.
According to Menachem Mendel Schneerson [or the Rebbe], “…no explanation that human reason can provide can afford a satisfactory theodicy of Auschwitz…” Sure seems God did not show up for many years then and since.
Why doesn’t He show up when it seems we need Him the most? Why does he go deaf to to our cries. For the small pains and for incredible horrors humanity has known? How is God good and yet, humanity is left damaged, destroyed and distorted? Why does God not show up?
I mean really, who knows why with justified knowledge why an infinite being does anything? There are people who, with certainty declare why God does what He does. There’s an arrogance in the theologians [professional and amateur] who insist they know “His Will.” I have no time for these people.
Saint Paul, the man whose writings are the basis for Christian thought, wrote: “We see through a glass dimly.” I side with Ol’ Saul of Tarsus and hold loosely to most of what I believe concerning God. Yet, one thing I firmly hold: God is more kind than I can understand and God is more love than I can imagine.
There’s nothing so affecting [and disturbing] as discovering we are not alone in the universe.
There’s nothing so affecting [and disturbing] as discovering a grand Personality in the universe.
There’s noting so transforming as discovering the grand Personality cares for you, is for you, and loves you.
But let’s be honest, that’s unexpected.
And a surprise.
Until it’s true.