For me, the difference between a beautiful winter day and hating everything and everyone is a wind that chills to the bone. I grew up in one of the colder parts of Australia (North Europeans read “A lovely summer vacation spot”) and would describe myself more of a lover of cold and not hot. But, an icy wind will instantly change my day. An invisible bringer of death. And I have a similar relationship with a dry hot wind from the outback of Australia. Playing basketball in 35-degree weather with the occasional burning wall of flamelike air is not my favourite. The wind is unseeable but brings much to our lives. It sails boats, it spins windmills, it cools the citizens of Perth, it helps birds, both the beautiful and annoying to get places faster.
The concept of the monarch God, the sitting in his throneroom God whom our spoken and unspoken prayers float to has limits. Although the belief that God is everywhere, the naming and the limitations of our human minds can get in the way. As if we have to fill the room with dramatic pads and specific drum patterns or sad certain words before the God of everywhere will tilt his head in our direction to listen to us repeat chants over and over. Or as if God has one name, and can only be called that name by those dressed in white.
And then the spirit is the one that comes to us. The spirit enters us and comforts us, the spirit enables us to dance and build big boats. But still, the spirit avoids certain ones of us. The dirty, the outspoken, the rebellious, the hurting – but only if they hurt in certain ways, the different and those that prefer meeting outside the building with no music and no words.
So still, the God of the everywhere is not really everywhere. That God seems to be limited by both our imagination and our own preferences.
So why not God like wind? Or air. But like a God that only comes at certain times, stagnant air is something easily unnoticed. Whereas wind is very noticeable, but also invisible. Something gentle but powerful enough that trees bend and water changes direction. Wind doesn’t hold grudges, doesn’t discriminate against genitals chosen or given. Isn’t all that miffed by change. It is what it is. Now to add a little nuance, what if that wind-as-god had a penchant to champion love and goodness in all those touched by the wind. What if wind-as-god had a name… that which anyone that loves gives. Sure “wind” has been a name but… so could Gerald be.
Now, knowing humanity, wind-as-god would still probably witness us start fights to do with “I know the wind better than you, I have studied this book about it” or “The wind likes me more than you, look, all my clothes keep being blown off” or “Give me 5$ a week and you too can feel the wind on your face like I” But ultimately the wind-as-god is seeable in what it affects. Right? It’s free for the taking. It’s around all the time.
God is not a book. God is not what you perceive him to be because you and I are limited and therefore should be comfortable with mystery. The mystery of knowing enough, but not needing to know all, as knowing all is the toxic desire that got certain characters kicked out of paradise.