I saw God in Chicago last fall
“In my own flesh shall I see God.”
The Book of Job, chapter 19, verse 26
A message board I hang out at has a discussion going this week, on how people perceive and/or envision God, and about being left-handed and having perfect pitch (the conversations there meander, as a rule).
The person who started the thread asked the question of believers, which meant I felt somewhat constrained in how I could participate. I was raised by a family for whom faith was a mainstay of daily life, but that was years ago: while apples may not fall far from the tree, on occasion they roll a bit, find a nearby stream to float down, and end up washing ashore years later on a different continent altogether.
Complicating my desire to respond was the fact that I saw God in Chicago last fall. A number of friends and acquaintances from the aforementioned message board and others gathered there, along with my wife and me, to converse in person. We like to remind ourselves now and again of each others’ physical existence. Old school, I know.
Some of the group went on an Expedition to acquire useful things: shoes, candied ginger, fond memories. We headed downtown from Evanston, where we had established our base camp. After shopping and chatting and walking, we found ourselves in Millennium Park. That’s where I saw God:
Some of you may mistake this for a flippant moment. No. I had achieved insight.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness
The Book of Genesis, chapter 1, verse 26.
We are reflections of God, and thus he is a reflection of us.
A somewhat larger, slightly distorted reflection, but a reflection nonetheless. Or to be more precise: God is a mirror in which we see ourselves thus reflected. (Some mirrors, of course, are more flattering than others.)
The Cloud Gate, aka the Bean, is truly Godlike though, in that it reflects all who see it, no matter how they approach it, from what angle, day or night, red and yellow, black and white. Also, just like the idea of God, the Bean exerts a magnetic pull on anyone around it. You see it, and you want to be closer to it, until it fills your perspective. I watched it happen to the crowds around me. I felt the pull myself, drawn closer, closer, until I could touch it.
I touched God when I touched my own reflection. And then I took God’s picture, to help me remember the moment.
I noticed a lot of other people around me taking God’s picture as well, except I’m pretty sure theirs don’t look at all like mine. Funny.