Thursday, October 11, 2007

What If God Was One of Us?

Today's Thoughts While I Commute is brought to you by Joan Osbourne and her one-hit wonder and by Nanet Nano from iPod. By the Holy See, which reminds you to call home often. And by readers like you.

Thank you.


If God had a name, what would it be
And would you call it to his face
If you were faced with him...
What would you ask him if you had just one question

One question only?

This has to be good, I think to myself, as Joan continues to sing her ballad in the background while I negotiate rush hour traffic heading home.

Of course, the most obvious would be, was I wrong about church and all that stuff?

But that seems simplistic and like I'm doubting my choices, not to mention limiting God to one institution.

No, it has to be a question that shows an equal balance of humility and audacity.

It has to be a question that, when God hears it She will laugh heartily and with delight--in a manner that is comforting without being patronizing or demeaning.

But what to ask? What to ask?


What if God was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home

What if God is one of us? Just a regular, day-to-day dude going through the same ups and downs we each experience. What if she's that woman on the bus next to us who, in the morning, is hopeful and energetic and, in the evening, is worn down and deflated?

Is God in that stranger next to me on the train, in the diner, at the bookstore? Do we find God in church or just the idea of it? Is she in the face of the poor, the homeless, the downtrodden? Or does he live in gilded mansions decked out in silks and crystal and avant garde art?

Maybe God is one of us, just trying to make his way home, like the song says. Isn't that what we're each trying to do every day? Just make it home to that place that is our sanctuary?


It’s not that usual when everything is beautiful
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

The sky knows when its time to snow
You don’t need to teach a seed to grow
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

Life is like a gift they say
Wrapped up for you everyday
Open up and find a way
To give some of your own

The iPod moves on and through the speakers I hear the strains of Sarah McLachlan singing about miracles.

Maybe God is just one of us (or all of us) and maybe every day is a chance to find a way to give some of our own.

And that, I think, is what I would ask God: What have you given of your own today?

Isn’t it remarkable?
Like every time a raindrop falls
It’s just another ordinary miracle today...

Copyrights: Joan Osbourne and Sarah McLachlan.


Cele said...

Oh excellent and provacative post Tewkes. I love that song, you should try Joan Osborne's How Sweet It Is cd, soul remakes, excellent.

My one question would be...

"What were you thinking when you made humans?"

or maybe it would be...

"Why is there religion?"


"did you ever think about just nuking it all, and say the heck with it, I'll start again tomorrow?"

NG said...

My question: "What's up with the platypus? 'Cause that just seems like a mistake."

Terri@SteelMagnolia said...

I love that song.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Cele: Good questions! I've thought of another one, because this actually a conversation God and I are going to have when I die.

In this scenario, God is definitely a man and if He's real, I'm kicking 'im in the nuts. Then, while He's doubled over and breathless, I'm gonna ask him my question.

Namely, WTF was He thinking with the whole menstruation thing? Seriously flawed engineering, dude.

NG: I have an answer for why God created the platypus. I think I'll blog about as my subject for next week's "Thoughts While I Commute" piece, so stay tuned.

Terri: It's a good song. At the very least, it's catchy.

hm-uk said...

But who says what it is that god should give? At this moment in time think that being godly is being good and just but there have been humans, in other times and other places, that think that god gave power and destruction and that giving of that was a manifestation of god.

If god was sitting beside me on the bus yesterday, it would definitely be worthwhile for him/her to get a stronger deodorant.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Aitch: I remember my first religious studies class at university. The professor had written on the board:


And there's the rub. Of course, the easiest thing to do would be to let God say, but since humans have appropriated the assumption and arrogance that they have been anointed to speak for and in behalf of God, we may never know what S/He wants to say. (This all assumes there is a god. I'm not saying there is. I'm also not saying there isn't. And there's my rub.)

As for your god on the bus, mine was a screeching mother at 1:00 in the morning yelling for her truant child to come home. I coulda slapped her. Probably not the best thing to do to God, eh?