Friday, May 18, 2012

What Does God Look Like?

I have had a wonderful week! It is my first week off of school and work. I admit I was concerned that I wouldn't have enough to do, but boy was I wrong. This week I have been to a Kindergarten program, a water park with 63 2nd through 5th graders, field day at my wife's school, and a school - wide picnic. What a fun-filled week! My wife, Joni, is an elementary music teacher at a very diverse school. Her students are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist - you name it. I have always appreciated being able to go to her school and see the vast diversity on her campus. Perhaps none more than today, however!

Today, everything came into focus for me. This morning, I had the PRIVILEGE to spend time as a chaperone to a wonderful group of 2nd graders. I wasn't exactly "warm" to the idea at first because 2nd graders can be a challenge. They are just old enough that they don't like "baby stuff," but young enough that they still need TLC and help with certain things. As the day began, I realized I was in a GREAT place with 2nd grade. Because of the great diversity in Joni's school, there was a variety of students from different backgrounds. Throughout the day, I saw them interact with one another and you know what was so great? Their religious, racial, ethnic, and language differences didn't make a hill of beans to them. They got along so well! I got to spend time in most of the classrooms and interact with the kiddos and get to know them better. Perhaps my favorite, though they were all wonderful, was the dual language classes. They were so smart and funny! They all speak Spanish and English and many of them spoke other languages as well. I felt so comfortable with them and felt as though they could show love in a way that I feared was lost because of the world in which we live.

The climax of my day was at the school-wide picnic. As I sat and reflected on the day and listened to the sound of people speaking in various languages and children playing, I found myself looking around at the beauty of the natural world, the beauty of the people and their languages, and thinking about the fact that God is so much bigger and mysterious than any of us could imagine. At that moment, I imagined what heaven must be like. I could see just how beautiful God and God's creation is. I began to think, 'Ain't God grand!' What does God look like? God looks like that school - different races, creeds, and tongues - all sitting together in unified harmony! Not a care in the world about who was what religion or who spoke what language, simply being who we were at that moment, in that place, and in community with one another!