Years ago when I could not find a fatherly image to liken God to, I made one.
I gave him a sweater and a pair of slacks. A kind smile, an affable look about him, and an office with a desk full of papers and pens, knick knacks, forgettable paper weights, a shelf full of books, and most importantly a couch he would lean back into with his reading glasses slid up or taken off, eyes closed as he sat in deep thought.
This father’s world was just his office.
There was no kitchen although I could imagine him fastening a late night snack. There was no garage although I could picture him tinkering with car parts and searching for lightbulbs or batteries. There was no living room though I could see him having a favorite show.
He is, in my minds eye, an Abba with consistently open office hours.
Throughout the years, as I prayed I’d go into this office in my mind and explain the day to this version of Abba. Frequently, I found myself sobbing into his shoulder over the latest blunder, feeling of being forgotten, left out, bullied, stupid, or insignificant, and though in reality my teary mixed phlegm seeped into a pillow, it more so melted into the seams and stitches of the sweater on his shoulder.
In order not to minimize The I Am, I’d remind myself that God is bigger than the image I’ve created — yes. That even at the bottom of the sea his footprints aren’t found so he wouldn’t be confined to this office in my mind — yes. That God goes beyond flesh and beyond bone and above sweater— yes. Still in the smallest place, this is exactly the image of and interaction with an Abba I need to stay sane.
So, I remind myself that God is bigger than the fashioning but within it all the same. Then, I find my solace from our chats in his office in my mind and when the praying or the crying or the wondering is finished I am easily back to the land of what is here before me.
Before today I never saw myself leave the room. Each time I enter he is sat on his grey couch waiting for me, never surprised, never caught off guard and I leave him in that position until I…