All the controversy about the contents of The Da Vinci Code aside, Dan Brown is suggesting–in not so many words–that the church (the holy, catholic, universal church) is narcissistic. They are about protecting the image of the church and the church’s image of Christ and God (not so much with the Spirit who gets very little air time as it is…no pun intend…well…). And I have a hard time with the church’s narcissism. I have an even harder time with the church’s image of God and the traditional image I have inherited.
God is not Santa Claus. God does not do as much as we would like to think. God does not do nothing–God is not the watchmaker who creates the world, winds it up and lets it run until it runs down. God is way more than God does. For someone like me, who has grown up in an evangelical, Protestant church, that is a paradigm shift of major proportions. For someone like me who works in a hospital and sees things all day long (and sometimes all night) that don’t make sense, that aren’t fair, that can’t be explained in any way (and those who try unfortunately bring a paltry offering to the altar), it is a paradigm shift I have to make. Much of what I see in my line of work cannot be explained away, nor is it ordained by God. If it is, I have a HUGE problem with a God like that.
God is. That’s what God told Moses: I AM WHO I AM. And God is present–though it may not seem like it, though we may never feel it or know it–God is. I am learning how to trust the God who is more than the God who does. May we find our shalom there.