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 | By Adam Cross

Seeing God clearly in hi-res

Take a second and ask yourself this question: What is God thinking about me right now? Maybe we get the sense that God loves us and is caring for us, or maybe it feels like God is frustrated or disappointed with us. Perhaps it feels as though he is distant or just doesn’t care. Whether we realize it or not, we all have images and expectations of God that affect how we feel, how we pray and how we live. As Jesus has revealed our heavenly Father to us, he is calling us to re-examine our images of God to live life to its fullest in body, mind and soul.


Images need edits

As we examine our God-images, we might sometimes feel as though God is like Santa Claus, coming around just once a year to give us a gift. Or maybe we feel as though God is a policeman or a judge, waiting to get us in trouble if we have done something wrong. We might even feel as though God is like an accountant tallying up the good and bad things we have done. At one point or another, we are all called to examine what we expect from God and also what we think he expects from us. The reality is that we all have faulty and distorted views of God that require us to examine our blurry God-images and where we formed them in our lives.

Broken mirror

So where do our faulty God-images come from? It’s pretty easy to see that our imperfect human experiences of fathers, moms, grandparents and even coaches or teachers can paint faulty images of God. It can be hard to imagine an all-loving and perfect Father because of our own experiences with broken human beings. Our human relationships are meant to reflect God’s love and mercy in our lives, but they often fall short. God is loving us specifically through our families and human parents, and is also wanting to remind us that his love for us is more than anything we could humanly imagine.

Clearer picture

Looking at our faulty God-images, we can also remember that Jesus came specifically to reveal his Father to us. Jesus reveals that through baptism we become beloved sons and daughters and heirs to the kingdom. Jesus also challenges us to look at God from a new perspective and to think not just as humans do, but with wonder and awe of God like a child. When we encounter God with a child-like wonder, we also are opening ourselves up for God to heal and work within our experiences of brokenness. Any time we pursue a clearer understanding of who God really is, God also reveals to us the truth of who we are, and he is healing and rebuilding our images of him as a perfect Father. We also don’t have to do this alone, and we can re-examine our wounds, ruptured relationships or anxieties with people we trust. This may be with a therapist, a parish priest or youth minister, who may be able to help us further transform our relationship with God, and also transform our daily thoughts, emotions and experiences as well.

So ask again,

What is God thinking about me right now? Open yourself to encounter the God of Scripture, the God of the sacraments as revealed through Jesus Christ like never before. We do live in a broken world with faulty and blurry images of God, but our perfect Father is giving us real grace to see him and his love more clearly each day, and is inviting and preparing us to ultimately see him fully, face to face.

Adam Cross is a licensed marriage and family therapist in California, and he worked as a youth minister at his local parish for 8 years. Adam loves to integrate the Catholic faith into his therapy practice.

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