I’m sitting on a huge, soft leather chair in the covered sunroom of the community house. It’s one of the hottest places on the base but also one of my favorites. It’s bright and lively with laughter and clattering from the kitchen around the corner and people having DMCs (Deep Meaningful Conversations) at tables and sofas all over the room.
This is a family. I was expecting to make some sort of close friendships along the trip but I did not anticipate the bonds that would form so quickly. We don’t know each other well yet. But we’re comfortable. I trust these people. I’m grateful for the way the staff has cultivated such a haven. For some of them, this has been their home for years and I know everyone I’ve talked to feels welcome. It’s easy to share this space and life with them.
Yesterday was our first lecture. The speaker was incredibly inspiring. He shared his heart and his story, got to know us personally, and dropped truth bomb after truth bomb. This week we are studying The Character and Nature of God. There’s no way I could type out all that I learned in that short session but I’ll put up some of it.
Jason (speaker) began by talking about how we communicate and connect with God. He’s talented as a communicator and was very interactive in his talks. We did an exercise of sorts where we sat across from someone and looked them in the eye. Literally that. No laughing, no talking, just looking.
I think it taught us all a lot. At first it was awkward. Intense eye contact is usually reserved for serious moments and even the used cautiously. Then as we got used to it, it became easier. We started looking and not caring about being looked at. I learned a lot about the person I was staring at. I began to be able to tell when she had an interesting thought or when she relaxed or when she seemed to have found something in my eyes.
Jason told us to stop and we all looked it him and laughed partly out of “that was awkward” and partly “oh my gosh that was cool.” He asked us how long we felt like that was and most of us said about a minute or two. Turns out it was almost five.
He then began to explain how we don’t need to use words to communicate. Language is one way, and often a very important way, of communicating but, by no means, the only. He continued to explain how God can use a look, a smile, a feeling, or anything else really to get his point across. The sunrise can say I love you just as well as an audible voice. He knows how to get to you. He knows your heart of hearts. He created you, thus he knows how to speak to you.
There are many attributes to God. He’s so many things at once. Just as I am daughter, sister, friend, artist, etc. I am all of these things but I don’t have only one way of operating. God is many things but works from the place of a father if you need it. Or counselor. Or friend. Or lord. He is all of these and more and he communicates and partners with you and where you are to talk to you.
I really love that about him. He meets you where you are. In all of his glory and vastness, he takes the effort to know you. He sees you in where you’re feeling, believing, operating and moves accordingly.