“You are laughing at me, aren’t you,” my friend quipped.
I wasn’t actually. I was just smiling. But I could understand how he would view it as inappropriate. He had just shared his distress, concluded that nobody cared, and that nobody was listening.
“I’m not laughing,” I said. “I care, I am listening, and I don’t think any of this is particularly funny. I just find it interesting that you think of me as ‘nobody.’”
I had a body. I was present. I was there. I put my hands on his as we prayed. He could smell aroma of the onions that still lingered on my clothes from dinner. I watched his lips quiver with sadness and fear. I captured the sound of his voice with my ears. My brain processed the sounds, matched them to the language and context I knew, and the life I had experienced. It fired information back to my mouth and tongue to form a verbal response. It sent other information to small muscle groups in my face and hands to form a non-verbal response. I had a body. I was present. But I don’t think it was me that he considered “nobody.” He wanted God in-the-flesh.
I think this is why so many of the faiths that are practiced in the world have icons and/or idols. We need a deity who shares our space. We need a sensory experience of the divine; or at least an approximation of it. We need a God who is embodied.
When incarnation happens, God is no longer “nobody.” God becomes present.
This is the God we pray for. This is the God who arrives. This is the God who is coming again.
I hope you continue to be blessed in your waiting, friends!