“No one is ever really at ease in facing what we call ‘life’ and ‘death’ without religious faith. The trouble with many people today is that they have not found a God big enough for modern needs. While their experience of life has grown in a score of directions and their mental horizons have been expanded to the point of bewilderment by world events and by scientific discoveries, their ideas of God have remained largely static. It is obviously impossible for an adult to worship the conception of God that exists in the mind of a child of Sunday- school age, unless he is prepared to deny his own experience of life.” These words and this challenge to believers as well as teachers of the Christian faith belong to J.B. Phillips, recorded in a small book titled Your God Is Too Small.
His words poke and prod me to continue on in pursuit of the sight unseen: race-less people and the God who is Spirit (John 4.24). I confess that if I can see this God, color this God in, culture and socially credential God based on the flesh, then I must have made another. Because the Spirit cannot be contained or created to fit into a box or a community. Furthermore, if I can vote this God in and out, then I have traded this God for one that can fit my political preferences, a god approved of by the people and really no god at all.
No, I want a God who is bigger than me, whose eyes are not as small as mine or limited to one body. I want to see the world and its inhabitants not as stereotypes would have me to but as God has created us. I want to look into the faces of my neighbors and see the humanity that is greater than social colors and physical features, textures of hair and the shapes of nose. I want to see the Spirit of God in them, breath captured in flesh.
I desire that the image of God cover us, that we see this thread of the Divine spread across the world and upon all faces. I pray that we are unable to see past it or through it. I believe that we can face ourselves and see neighbors without race because our God is big enough to define us all.