For ALL families, one thing is certain in life; car rides are a mixed bag of possibilities! Some drives are only good for losing one's composure (and faculties) over and over (for miles and miles of endless stretches of blacktop). Other drives are 100% laughter and silliness. Then, once in a while, the car ride is truly exceptional. I’m certain that in those extraordinary moments that God himself peals back the roof of my mini-van (the one I swore I’d never EVER drive) just to sit in our midst and listen to our babies’ sweet voices.
These exquisite moments are pure, divine beauty; amazing tiny slices of heaven. Depth and inspiration burst from by back seats in a way that seems hilariously impossible. After all, these divine thoughts spill from children who, just minutes before, were beating each other with Barbie, Ken and light sabers. But these kids…they surprise me, over and over again.
This morning my daughter’s spiritual curiosity didn’t wander into typical kid territory. She didn’t ask where animals and insects go when they die, and she wasn’t stressed about whether God would remember to duplicate her most precious blankie for her heavenly bedroom. Instead she was interested in dredging much deeper, more fashion minded waters. The reflective topic of the morning…(drum roll, please)...what does God wear??
This daughter of mine (my Mia), she’s profound and soulful but still very much your run of the mill, 8 year old girl. She notices clothing and prides herself on having her own distinctive style. Her unique look is alarmingly similar to every other kid in the world, but she’d never accept that as truth. My girly-girl loves playing with makeup, painting her nails and can artfully configure and reconfigure her hair half a dozen different ways within just as many minutes. Naturally, she ponders God’s wardrobe.
When I try to visualize God, it ends up sounding a lot like a certain ‘mouse and cookie’ story from my childhood. It goes a little like this: when I begin imagining God and what he might wear, it makes me think about Jesus. Thinking about Jesus reminds me of each and every one of my Sunday school classrooms where a stoic, angelic and slightly feminine-looking, circa 1970’s Jesus always hung on one of the walls. Those Jesus paintings always had a yellowish hue, (somehow the 70’s were yellower than other decades), but gold tones aside, Jesus’ white(ish) robe and a blue sash were unmistakable.
Mia must have seen one of those classic depictions, because my little darling was sure that God wears a white robe and blue sash, plus leather sandals (of course). And maybe it’s true; maybe God wears white and blue for all of eternity. But I’m not entirely willing to believe that. Conceding to that belief would mean accepting that God; the creator ALL (the universe and all its inhabitants plus its infinite number of colors and textures), would choose to live ETERNITY in a 2 colored toga. I don’t know…I have a hard time accepting that.
I’d like to suggest another possibility; one where God would rather spend eternity wearing billions upon billions of different outfits. He wears it ALL not because he’s preoccupied with his wardrobe but because he’s preoccupied with each of us. So, he purposefully chooses his attire based on our many distinct cultures, beliefs ethnicities and styles. For some of us, God chooses to wear that customary white robe and blue sash because it’s what makes us feel most comfortable. But for others maybe he sports jeans and Rainbows (leather surf sandals) and carries a surf board. Maybe he wears a tuxedo, a Yamaka, a kilt or loin cloth. I think God wears all of it…just for us.
As I chatted with Mia about what God might wear, I couldn’t help but think of that one "prayer scene" from the movie “Talladega Nights”. This film is hysterical, but I can’t exactly endorse it because it’s also a bit gritty, but there’s one brilliant (clean) scene where a family discusses the way each of them imagine Jesus. Embedded among all the hilarity, a pure and beautiful truth exists: God ALWAYS meets us exactly where we’re at. He doesn’t require us to look a certain way nor is he confined to the first century version of himself. He just wants to be with us. HE is Immanuel, which literally means, God with us!
Writer and fellow traveler on the road of life.