God Is Beautiful

Kenya. August 1983.  I am thinking about my utter  aesthetic failure to apprehend God.  My framework has been  Calvinist, despite my intellectual quibbles with Calvinism, and the persistence in my heart of the far-away profoundly ugly Calvinist God has doomed my efforts to look upon God with anything but boredom and repulsion.  The heart has its reasons that reason does not know. My Calvinism has privileged reason.  So I labor to dislodge deep-set ideas about God, ideas long obscured by their festering effects. Certain impressions have such an oddly tenacious cling, seeping out silent revulsion, prejudice, cursory dismissal.

I spent my growing-up years needing something comprehensible about God, and so acquiring images, and making additions as my soul enabled, and collecting, loathe to relinquish anything, until God resembled my cluttered attic, something useful but so ugly that I could not bear to behold it, and so I held God at bay.

And all the while, God is beautiful, yes, true and good, but above all, beautiful.


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