God in the details


One of the phrases my non faith-inclined mind has long pondered is "God is everywhere." Change-ups of this phrase, such as "God is everything" or any of the various admonishments about carrying God around in your heart have similarly confused me. If I can't even find God in a church, who can find Him everywhere? Everywhere? Even in the bathroom?

Yesterday, I witnessed something that brought these truisms to light a bit more.

I was at Target, browsing the clearance racks, trying to find some camisoles before they clear out for the winter. Two women and a pre-teen girl were browsing the rack next to mine. "Keep looking," one of the women told the girl. "He wouldn't have shown us that skirt if he hadn't meant for there to be a shirt to go with it."

Who was he, I wondered, looking around for their male companion. Could he come and find me some of those cute cropped pants in black and in a 16?

Then, eavesdropping further on their conversation, I realized it.

They weren't talking about him, they were talking about Him. They didn't have a male shopping companion--at least not one I could see. They were carrying their shopping coach around in their hearts.

And sure enough, one rack over, He found them a shirt to go with that skirt.

As I drove home (without having found what I was looking for, unsurprisingly), I pondered their faith-based shopping initiative. I make no claims to know what God wants. I don't even know who God is, or if God is, much less His internal desires. However, it seems to me that if I were a supreme being, I'd get a little bit irritated at being called upon to assist in trolling the clearance racks at Target. Or assist in winning a football game. Or assist in any of the millions of other details of people's lives that I was constantly being bugged about. When you are responsible for an entire world, seems like you'd have to focus on the big stuff.

This may well be just one more example of why I'm never going to understand faith. Weirder even than praising in a church, in my mind, is connecting a supreme being to everything I do and everywhere I am. I can't imagine it being anything more than an annoyance for both parties, creator and created. Then again, the folks I was listening in on went home with a bag full of clearance goodies and I didn't, so who knows?

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April 2012

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