Images of God

My Roman Catholic upbringing and the underlying machista culture that I was raised in, led me to worship a male Jesus Christ and a masculine God. In all the environments and communities in which I surround myself in, I continuously imagine a masculine God. Regularly in mass and when I pray, I tend to address God as “the father”. The stained-glass images of God and Jesus Christ in my church always portray God as a white male with European facial features. My masculine image of God may also come from the very word “God.” We say “God” as opposed to “Goddess.” I interpret this as a direct message in our language and in the religious community that God should be addressed as a masculine entity.
However, in the last couple of weeks, I have continued to explore my image of God. I recently went on an excursion to Costa Rica where we worked alongside the Tico people in order to build a house for future guests, worshiped together with the Tico people, and were able to build friendships together. On this trip, our leaders were Christian-Methodist ministers with whom I became very close with. I asked them why religious communities largely address God as male. After our conversation and after I was able to digest and reconfigure the theology that I learned, I decided that God is neither male nor female. God is an all-encompassing and omnipresent being that should be addressed as God and if possible, without a pronoun. Throughout my life, I have always believed that God can work through people on Earth. God works through every human being in different ways. Therefore, to me, God does not always appear as a glimpse of pure white light in the sky. Instead, God can appear through an act of kindness of a brother or sister or through a person’s soul. This consequently distorts my image of God because it means that God can appear through the image of different people, including myself. After my trip to Costa Rica, I continued to harbor a close friendship with two people who went on the trip with me. Since then, our friendship has manifested into what I consider to be a family. In the last weeks we have told each other very intimate details of our lives, we have talked about our insecurities, and we have supported each other in many ways, including spiritually. Together, we have discussed our own images of God. Interestingly, one of my two friends does not believe in a Christian God. Instead, she believes in a Sihk God. Regardless of her faith, I continue to see God work through her. I firmly believe that God brought her into my life in order to act as a friend, companion, and sister in Christ. Both of these people help me become closer to God. Yet, I still don’t understand how very unique and different images of God can be so unifying.

        By Anonymous 2