Wednesday, October 17, 2012


My boyfriend and I see God in completely different areas of the world.

He looks at numbers and sees the divine. Nature is full of uncanny mathematical patterns, and the laws of the universe fit together like laser-cut puzzle pieces, perfect in their simplicity and complexity. "I imagine God as having His hands around the world," he said one night. "He's everywhere." He sees miracles as unnecessary, as breaking the beauty of the world; to him, nature and its perfect fit, like gears in a clock, is the real miracle. He claims he doesn't need to believe in the miraculous, because what kind of God would need to go back in and patch up the work He already did? It's like Michelangelo returning to the Sistine Chapel and scratching a doodle in crayon on a corner of the ceiling. The universe is so perfectly designed from the start, from the moment God set "let it be," and the Big Bang went off, that the one miracle God ever truly did is still going, and going, and going. The things we call miraculous, are so miraculous because they are natural phenomena that were decided billions of years ago, a tiny butterfly flap that caused the cancer to be attacked at just the right time by just the right virus to pop the right cell, and so forth.

I see God in the cracks of reality. When something uncanny happens, just in the precise way it shouldn't. When a disease vanishes in a way that is impossible. When nature moves aside a little, so you can see the God behind the curtain, holding the universe in perpetually moving fingers, playing physics like a piano, throwing in a riff now and then that wasn't originally in the piece. "I imagine God peeking in between slips of time," I said. "He's hiding behind the world, always watching, waiting, and acting." All the world's a stage, and God is running the tech crew. I don't think God planned it ahead of time, or at least not to fit seamlessly; I believe that miracles are supposed to happen, that we can't actually exist without breaking reality at some point or another. That natural law is purposely and divinely imperfect and incapable of acting entirely on its own. That without God's direct intervention, humanity wouldn't have evolved; sentience would never have occurred; the nations wouldn't have lined up as they did when Jesus existed; so on and so forth.

In the end, I think we're both a little bit right.

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