“Where is God in all of this?”
That was the question a little old lady posed to me after a performance of Stages this past Sunday night. The question made total sense, considering I had done the show at the First Baptist Church of Clemson.
I wish I could remember the answer I gave. Probably something like, “God is everywhere” or “He’s been with me the whole time.” But the truth is I can’t remember. After a performance I’ve got a million things on my mind. Important questions like: How’d it go? Did they think I was pretty? Why am I so starving?
I thought about that lady’s question on the drive home from Clemson.
Where has God been in all this?
One of the most attractive things to me about the Christian story is the idea that God became human. Fully, 100%. That means he stubbed his toes and had to use the bathroom when one wasn’t around. That means he had colds and head aches. He got tired, lost, confused. He also laughed. And had a job, and all that entails.
He also had to do things he didn’t want to do.
When Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane, facing his upcoming arrest, he asked God if this cup could pass him by. Think about that: He asked if he could tap out. Do something different. If there was a contingency plan. A fall back option. He was asking for a way out. To not have to do what he was about to do.
Also he was annoyed! Think about the first miracle he did- the wine at the wedding at Cana. Mary told him that the host was out of wine and he said, “What does that have to do with me?” And she didn’t even answer him. She just told the servants, “Do whatever he says.” He was like, “Fine! I was having a good time but now I guess I’ll work!
Or what about when he was on the boat and the storm was raging. He was downstairs, fast asleep, and his disciples woke him up, “Help us we’re dying!!!!” He drug himself out of bed, made the storm stop, and then said, “You of little faith.” Which is Greek for “Don’t bother me while I’m sleeping.”
God did shit he didn’t want to do. That’s part of being human. That’s part of this mystery we all get participate in. And if God can do shit he didn’t want to do, so can I. That gives me courage and comfort.
So if you’re reading this and know the nice old lady at First Baptist Church of Clemson who asked me that question- thank her for me!