Religion and the name of God make news when the horrific is attached as with ISIS, an international army of murderers claiming to behead in the name of Allah. It is also in the news at the opposite extreme when a school in Tennessee suspends a child for spontaneously saying “God bless you” when a classmate sneezed. That divine name is on the list of forbidden words in a school district striving to be politically correct by offending no one.
Most of us exist somewhere in between these extremes, still able to marvel at the inexplicable and to ponder power beyond us.
In a recent conversation with a colleague, we were both admiring what modern surgery had been able to do to restore painless functioning to her hand. “The combination of nerves and muscles is so extraordinary,”she said. “How marvelously we are put together.” Since we are both believers, we thanked God for her surgeon’s skill and then wondered if that doctor feels awe at working in the human body. Does he ever wonder at the incredible functioning of this “machine” and ask who put it together?
I have had more God thoughts as I admire the newly-born offspring of several other colleagues. Each little person is uniquely beautiful and some of them already so clearly resemble a parent. It is mind-boggling to think of all the changes that are already programmed into each little body so that, twenty years from now, an adult will stand before us. How does that happen?
Is it God? Biological determinism? If so, who determined it? How does life and growth happen? To those naysayers who sound like refugees from my old geometry class with their “Prove it . Prove that there is a God,” I’d say, in the face of all the above, “I would rather admire.”