I have always loved storms, the ones that raise the hair on my arms and crack the sky wide open, my heart along with it. I have always loved storms but recently I was caught in one alone on a dark, foggy, mountain road with a panicking heart and furious windshield wipers as a scared kind of pleading passed breathlessly over my lips to a God who terrified me in that moment.
Somewhere along the way, somewhere amongst a community whose heart beat legalism, I lost sight of the warm, twinkling-eyed God I knew when I was younger. I grew distant from the God with the belly-laugh. I forgot that God is good. The idea of God as friend became sacrilegious and like a game of "tag, you're it," my broken conclusion became fear.
So when I was asked to describe who God was to me now in this season, post-college, I struggled to answer the truth.
I don’t know why I have separated the Lion-God from the Friend-God. Because even lions can have kind eyes.
And I’m learning that God holds more paradoxes, more depth than makes me comfortable but walking on water was never supposed to feel comfortable. Even there, in the uncomfortable, He is the friend who is beckoning me the way He beckons children, with kindness peeking out from behind brown eyes, sitting at an old weather-beaten table, breaking bread with His friends.
He doesn’t have to use us, but He wants to anyway. He doesn’t have to hear from us, but I know He wants to and I think it puts a big ol’ “that’s my daughter” smile on His face when we pour out our hearts to Him like He is a friend, a kind of pride in our confidence to boldly approach the throne. I think of myself marching in as a child with knobby knees, a wispy, brown pony-tail and a million freckles and I feel that deep in my soul.
And I know that God is putting out a welcome mat for me, every time I come over for coffee. Because He is and forever will be, my dearest friend. And I still love storms as I realize that we can sit together, under that tin roof and point out the lightening and count for the thunder.