Monday, October 18, 2010
What if God Was One of Us?
Joan Osborne had her hit album Relish (1995) with this song One of Us. Her question, what if God was [were] one of us? Undoubtedly no one dare ask these question in fear of blasphemy. For in the Bible it is said, though shall not put the name of God in vain. But such question, to me, is not loaded with heresy and blasphemy, for it intellectualizes on a possibility that happened, is happening and will continue to happen.
What if God was one of us? To the skeptic, this question asks of an unreal condition. Hence, it is with a grammatical flaw, as it should be worded with were and not was since it is in subjunctive mood. As an assumption though, it is correct, but it speaks of the past and not of the present. So still the issue of God's existence here is brought to the past condition, that does not matter in the present nor the future. That's if our cultural view of the time is ageric and not a continuum.
Yet, such is the language of the blues, and therefore, the writer deserves her right to use such language as to her poetic license.
God is one of us. If so, where, how, when, why. How does he look like and what's his name? For the radical feminists, why is God he and not a she? What is the question of God's prior existence called for after all?
The song brings out the question of God's existence in relation to the people today. Rephrased what is God to you, amidst your busy life and where is He amongst you. I am using here personal pronoun He, referring to God because this has been the cultural archetype that humans know in reference to that Supernatural Supreme Being. All religions and mythology glorify the power of that God that is He.
Whereas, cultures around the globe also use he as referent to a person or a human being. My apologies to this politics.But as a writer, I also deserve the right to use the terms and referents that I am more accustomed to for convenient purposes.
The conditional "if God was one of us" tells of a past condition. He was in Christ, in Jesus who was born into form of a man although he is God. To deny this is to debate whatever logic can be found in the Old and New Testament of the Bible. If God were one of us? relates much better to pose a proposition for argumentation.
If God were one of us, what? He would not be against us. He would be teaching us his ways, but He would not interfere with our freedom. He would do miracles to those who believe. He would walk the way we walk. He would talk to us the way we speak. He would eat and drink like us. He would play, laugh and cry. He would take the bus, and get stuck in the traffic. But the the thing is, like what happened before, many of us would not know Him. He would be blasting his message on line. He would be replying to a text message when you pm him. He would be praying for others while helping them in their lives.
If he was able to born into human form, God that he is, he could always set his foot into the world in another human form. The point of question on what if God was one of us, should be directed to the mind and character of each one of us. If God was one of us, then we could profess and express the same love that He has for everyone. He should be one of us, as He is in us, in faith and in Spirit.
Then His love should manifest as we share our lives, time, treasure and talents to others. He is one of us, amidst us when we stand strong for justice, peace, equality, freedom, truth and well-being in this world. He is one of us and amongst us when we love, as to whatever that means.
On the contrary, where there is war, poverty, hunger, disasters, death, tragedy,terrorism, violence, abuse, injustice, dehumanization, inequality, political struggles, division, where do we find God? All these are world problems that God did not impose on us. As I see it, God is not testing us either through these, for he knows whether we will fail on it or not. These are what we created to what was beautiful in the world in our humanity. If God is one of us, then we would try to face and resolve these concerns in a Godly way. That is the sense of God being with us.
Soon the Catholic and the Christian faith will celebrate Christmas. Christmas is that time of remembering that God, who was the word made flesh, was is and forever will be one of us. We can only find Him in us in faith, and our works and deeds will confirm that as tested by His Spirit. God in us as we manifest genuine love to all God's creation.
(Photo: Acrylic on Canvass, Face of God by James Prattas from http://www.prattas.com/oh_my_god_2.htm).