A Particular God
by Lori Heine
It's easy to be overwhelmed by the vastness of space. And it’s sometimes necessary to remind ourselves of how infinitely much bigger God is than we are. But even a big perspective has its limitations. Indeed, He is the God of the infinite. But He is, equally, the God of the small.
Some people try to reduce God to a gaseous blob, floating in space. If God is so big that we can’t fathom anything about Him, that lets us off the hook. We can simply ignore Him. Does a God that big really care about us? And if He doesn’t care about us, why do we have to care about Him?
But the same God who made billions of galaxies also crafted intricate worlds visible only through a microscope. He sustains even single-celled organisms in every moment of their lives. He must, then, be the God of everything unfathomably big, all that’s unfathomably small and everything in between.
Everything that exists is here for a reason. In His creation, God makes choices--and every option taken is another one not taken. God chose to make grass green and blood red, instead of the other way around. He chose to make fire hot, ice cold and water wet. He made circles round, squares square and a variety of other shapes that would never have existed if He had not conceived them.
God is kind and reliable. He is not cruel or capricious. We know this because we believe that God particularly entered time and space in the Person of Jesus.
Making our conception of God too small turns that conception into an idol. If our conception is too big erases Him, because it’s too vague. He is Who He is. Which was how He introduced Himself to Moses in the burning bush.
This understanding has profound implications for LGBT Christians. Because we know God isn’t capricious or cruel, we can’t believe that committed love between consenting adults offends Him. We didn’t create ourselves; God did. He made committed love between consenting adults the deepest and most meaningful way that love can be shared. He isn’t going to condemn us for being who He made us to be.
We were created by a particular God, in a particular way. Reality is very particular. We are a particular people.
In the LGBT Christian community, we are often taught to fear particularity. Those who would condemn us try to shrink God down to fit into the box in which they want to confine Him, so those who welcome us tend to focus exclusively on His immensity. But Scripture says that God is Love--and love is all about particularity. We can be just the size we are, and love in exactly the way we do--because God loves us, as He created us, exactly the way we are.
© 2018 Lori Heine
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