God existed before the Bible.  You know that, right? 

If you have read my writings on this site, you know that I lean on these ancient texts we call the Bible.  That said, I do wonder how God manifested God to the people for over 295,000 years prior to the Bible.  As I read and study, as I walk and become more familiar with the Holy Mystery, God, and using language that is perhaps a bit unsettling, the shape of God had to have been revealed in nature.[1] 

Let us dare to dream about the shape of God prior to the Bible.  Before the primeval story about God and two people in a garden eating a banned fruit with a serpent.

Without this story that shaped God for Christianity, who might God have been?  A few of my thoughts, imaginations, and curiosities follow.

The shape of God based on nature would be a God ever flowing, ever renewing God’s self.  The shape of God would be transformative, evolving, building on the strong bits.  The shape of God would include weakness and illness as easily as it includes health and strength.  The shape of God would be inclusive, loving, reaching out over and over, and deeply aware of the great variety of the species.  The shape of God is more like the prodigal’s father running towards the returning son than a judge waiting to hear the argument for love.   

The shape of God based on nature gives a vast understanding and life in the dark of winter and in the brightness of summer.  A deep seasonal understanding invites us to recall that we all die.  We might see how death is part of the resurrection.  Come and die, Jesus says.  Come and die that you might live.  Unless a seed dies it does not bring forth the seedling.  The shape of God based on nature allows us to see that even in death there is renewal. 

I invite you notice what happened in your body as you read these words.  Defensiveness? Anger? Joy? Judgement?  What was stirred in your being as you consider an expanded shape of God?  If those feelings do not leave you, find someone who listens without fixing you.  You may want a spiritual director to help explore the shape of God.  Come, explore the Holy Mystery with another one.   


[1] Richard Rohr, The Universal Christ: How a forgotten reality can change everything we see, hope for, and believe, (New York: Convergent Books, 2019), 12.

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