Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Man Like God

After two decades of deep-core theology, I’m still surprisingly oblivious about God. But the stronger I feel I got Him pegged, the further from me He seems. And on those days that I’m baffled, mesmerized or on the verge of being convinced that I wasted two decades of my life on a pipe-dream, He shows up. Or someone just like Him.

Last night Abarim Publications hosted a dinner in honor of a man who made me think that if God was indeed one of us, he would be just like that man. I want to tell you about that man. Let’s call him Bob. Bob the Man.

Bob was once a straight forward man next-door. He had a wife, a house, a job and a lovely little baby daughter. Let’s call her Stella.

Holding Hands

Things went well for Bob. He was loved, and he loved. The sun shone in Bob’s life like his days on earth were one big summer. But Bob’s summer came to an end in a storm that rolled in unannounced and snatched Bob’s wife away from him. She died, just like that, and Bob was a widower with a little daughter and a house that reminded him of every wonderful moment he once had and never would again. Questions cried from the walls: had he loved his wife enough? Had he given her enough attention? What’s next, Bob?

Bob realized he couldn’t stay in that house and decided to move. He realized that he also couldn’t stay in that town, or even that country. Bob could not abide hearing the language in which once his wife spoke to him, and he moved far, far away, where another sun shone over another land. Only Stella was with him and they brought only the clothes they wore.

Bob rented an apartment in the center of his new city and knowing he would never be able to find a job in a country of which he didn’t spoke the language, he started a website. Much to anyone’s surprise, the website heated up nicely, attracted scores of visitors and began to bring in the money Bob needed to pay the bills and to feed his Stella.

Stella grew and Bob began to home-school her, teaching her about life and love and the wonders that exist around every street corner. Mathematics, topography and language courses he picked up from the Internet and were poured over after morning recess enjoyed in the park, where Stella played with other kids. Early mornings were spent scrounging the open market for inexpensive foods, and for human interaction and language practice. They made and ate lunch together. Then Stella did her homework and Bob wrote on his website. Later in the afternoon they would saunter over to a museum or a concert or a library. They were inseparable.

When Bob and Stella arrived last night, Stella appeared to be a kind, eight-year-old young-lady, fluent in three languages, pleasant and well behaved, inquisitive and utterly charming. Bob watched her make her way into a grown-up world and I watched Bob, who had invested his entire existence into the survival and cultivation of one other human being.

We don’t know much about God other than His engagement in human affairs. We don’t know if He has other projects going, or what He was up to before He created the universe. All we know is that He is bent to guide us towards maturity, and that He does everything in His unlimited power to achieve his objective. The omnipotence of God is often not very well understood and frequently misapplied. Entities that don’t respond to force can not be manipulated into compliance, just like Bob can not forge Stella into a autonomous human person. All either can do is love their offspring in ultimate surrender and fully devoted.

What makes a man a godly man? His convictions or creed? His theological knowledge or clerical esteem? Probably not. Jesus commands in John 15:12-13 to love one another as He loved, and explained that there is no greater love than laying down one’s life for another.

Last evening I prayed to God to make me more like Bob.


  1. I think... to emulate those who are able to do this, by doing this ourselves, puts us that much closer to the Eden once possible.

    fb B

  2. Awww, such a sad story. I hope he can find love again and feel secure enough to send his girl out to make some friends. She's enough for him, but he may not be enough for her social development.

    A great story, Arie. I'll go look at Abarim publications.

  3. Thanks Anne (A Blogger's Books). I'm grateful for all your excellent tips on your blogger website:

  4. A beautiful story! I, too, want to be more like "Bob".

    Thanks for visiting A Grace-full Life and for your kind comments.



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