This Saturday I met my writing group, and although it’s a secular group, I had a weird thought about God.
We’ve talked on this blog before about God as an author. (Many times over again, as I discovered while looking for that link.) Anne Lamott quotes her pastor (in Bird by Bird) saying that you know you’ve successfully made God in your own image when God hates the same people you do. I think it’s okay though to try relating to God by seeing something we do imperfectly as an imitation of what God does perfectly.
I was one of the writers being critiqued, and one paragraph came up repeatedly as we went around the table. At one point I even joked that they “didn’t get my genius” but of course the problem was mine and not theirs. They could tell I was doing something with that paragraph, but not what.
After we’d gone all the way around the table, it was my turn for final comments, and I explained what I’d attempted to do with that troublesome passage. And as I went over it bit by bit, the other group members either caught their breath or picked up their heads as they realized what it could have been. (Real genius would have succeeded; I know what geniuses do, and I provide a clumsy imitation thereof. If this had been an actual work of genius, you wouldn’t be reading this weblog because the way that passage worked would never have been noticed. This has been a test of the genius writing system.)
What came to me, though, was whether afterward we get to ask God about those difficult passages where it doesn’t look like it worked out right: “So I just don’t get this part.” And then God says, “Well, this is what was going on there — ” and one at a time, our eyes are opened and we see all those awesome little mechanisms at work in Creation, the tiny signs that went unnoticed (because God is a genius) and we realize everything we needed was all there all along, working as it should have been.
First, though, He’d have to upgrade us, so we could understand his intention. He kept the sacrifices and retribution so long because We couldn’t fathom a God who didn’t require them. (That’s my current favourite theory.) Ever try explaining why grass is green, and how fine-tuned things have to be for photosynthesis and the ATP cycle to work, to a kid who’s just learned about atoms?