To See God, Open the Window
Posted July 23, 2010on:
That’s what B said to me this morning in the car on the way to preschool. “If you put down the window, then you can see God.”
He spent the last week getting his first dose of Christian education outside the home through vacation bible school, so we have been having all kinds of interesting conversations about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and the love of God. I figured this would be another untwisting of something he had heard at VBS.
Baffled, I asked, “What do you mean? How can you see God by putting down the window?”
“You know,” he said. “The wind.”
This time it was my words that need untwisting. Everything is literal in his three-year-old mind. The day before, he had inquired about when and where and how he would get to see God. Having not met God in person, he had surmised that God was dead.
I marveled that his young mind could arrive so quickly and easily at one of the great arguments among atheists everywhere. Thankfully, because this is such a familiar point, it has a familiar answer: the wind.
On the way to school the day before, I had answered his question about the death of God with the analogy of the wind. We cannot see the wind, but we can see the effects of the wind on the trees and feel it on our faces. God is the same way—we cannot see God, but we can see what God does, like all the things God has made in the world and the love we feel with one another. I know young children don’t quite understand analogy, but it was the best explanation I could offer without concocting for him a heaven where God lives far, far away. He smiled and giggled and talked about the wind and generally seemed satisfied with the answer.
And then, this morning in the car, his request: “Put down the window, so I can see God. You know, in the wind.”
I realized I didn’t need to untwist his conception after all. I just rolled down the window, and glanced in the rearview mirror to see him laughing and smiling in the back seat, hair flying in the wind. Yes, that is God alright—I see the Holy One too.