I’ve been thinking of you – as I always do! – and the oppression of being told to live in a way it’s not possible for you to live. (I’m talking about being told to somehow live straight when you’re gay.) What a day-in day-out grind it is to live contrary to who you are, as you were created.
I’ve experienced that in small ways myself, and it is horrible. The worst part is being told that God wants, even requires, you to live like that. It shatters the soul. No wonder you get wounded, bitter, despondent, depressed, burned out.
Let me show you a different view of God.
“I am that I am” is a well-known name for God. And if you’re like me, you’ve thought, “What does that have to do with me??” I never even knew what it meant.
But I recently discovered something…
“I am that I am” is God telling people, “I am the God of the people who are, the people who live day-to-day, the regular people.” Can you even get your head around that?
Not the God of just the religious leaders. The God of us. All of us.
God is NOT saying, “I am a far-off being much too big to relate to someone like you — and btw, clean up your act, will you??” NO! That would be what we hear from people who say that to themselves and to others.
It is not God!
God IS saying, “I am YOUR God. I am the God of those who may have lost hope, who have been smashed on the rocks, rejected, shunned. And I am deeply and intimately present with you.”
I don’t think our brains grasp, nor have we been taught, that the Old Testament was written by a deeply oppressed and marginalized people. It went against the common narrative of the power player . These were stories of God’s presence to people in captivity, in exile. These were slaves for whom God was real and present.
Set aside the violence or contradictions you read about in the Old Testament; we can talk about that another time. For now, I want you to absorb what God is saying.
I AM THAT I AM. I am the God of the oppressed, marginalized, powerless, disenfranchised, hurting people.
Sound like anyone you know?
I am the God of women, minorities, children, LGBTQ, rejected, homeless, disabled, hopeless.
I am the God of the people who just are.