What do you picture God doing all day? Here are just a few possibilities.
God is watching us. We might have been told this as children. God was watching, so if you do something bad—like hit your brother or sister—God will see you. This turns God into something like a guard in a prison who is keeping an eye out for the least infraction of the rules. Or maybe we were told that God is watching over us—something like good parents watching their children playing in a sandbox in the park. God is watching over us with attentiveness, care, and concern.
God is leaving us alone. This answer to the question is a little like what Deism says about God. That God, like a highly skilled artist, created this incredibly fancy and intricate watch (the universe), wound it up, left it on its own, and went off to do something else.
God is loving. It’s one thing to say “God is Love” and quite another thing to say “God is loving.” The first conjures up an image of a big fat glob of love just sitting there. But the second implies love being expressed in specific acts or deeds. But if God is loving, whom is God loving? We humans are quick to answer: “Why, God is loving us, of course!” If we’re feeling particularly humble, though, we might say, “God is loving the entire earth community.” Or if we’re being broad-minded and inclusive, we might say, “God is loving the entire cosmos—the whole kit and caboodle, that is, the zillions and zillions of specific created forms we cannot even begin to imagine.”
God is dancing. I like what theologian Beatrice Bruteau says about God in her book Radical Optimism. She says God is a dancer. This is how she explains God’s relationship to all of creation: “The whole world is the Creator’s expressive gesture. God is in the world as the dancer is in the dance. The dance is the dancer, dancing.” That implies that God’s dancing sustains and directs the movement of the world. It also implies that God is having a good time.
God is giving birth. To answer the question, what is God doing all day, Meister Eckhart, a 13th Century German theologian said this: “God lies on a maternity bed giving birth.” I bet his answer shook up the establishment of his day! In his book Drink Deeply with Delight, the spiritual writer Howard Hanger says this about Eckhart’s words. “‘Waters shall break forth in the wilderness..’ sings out old Isaiah. God’s water is always breaking and giving birth to new life.”
There are many other ways we could answer the question, what is God doing all day. We could say: God is weeping… when we behold the world’s pain. Or God is comforting us… when we feel God’s consolation in our hearts … Or God is playing … when we behold the tiny buds on the trees and the wee green shoots coming up through the mud in spring… Or God is walking with us … when we suddenly have a sense of God’s presence in our lives.
Do any of these answers to the question “What is God doing all day?” resonate with you and your experience of God?
How would you answer the question?
PS: I ask your prayers for the virtual retreat on HOPE I’m giving this week hosted by the Heartland Center for Spirituality in Great Bend, Kansas. I know several readers of this blog are making it. I look forward to meeting you—at least virtually! Thank you all for your prayers.
Here is an unusual video using the photos by the French photographer Laurent Laveder. (I thank my friend Mary Fran for sharing this video with me.) The video suggests yet another answer to the question, “What is God doing all day?” OR, more accurately, “What is God doing all night?” Maybe God is playing with the moon… or maybe God wants us to play with the
Thanks again for reading my blog! I invite you to respond to this reflection below!