I found a God, and I couldn’t understand him.
I found a God, and I couldn’t comprehend him.
I found a God, and I couldn’t keep him.
And so I put him in a cage,
That God I found,
That God I loved.
There he was safe,
There I was safe.
I fed him,
I praised him,
I tamed him.
He became like a friend to me,
Or was he a pet?
I was comfortable,
I was happy,
For a while.
But then I got bored.
See, he was predictable, this God I kept.
He was uninteresting, this God I praised.
He was passive, this God I tamed.
There was no fire,
The mountains did not melt,
And the rocks did not cry out.
Stripped of his reality, he evolved in that cage from Creator to concept.
I enjoyed him as a theology,
I liked him as an idea.
Romanticism he was,
God he was not.
No longer did he have flesh and bones and spirit and power;
He disappeared into mere thought.
I relegated him to an emotion,
a bristling of hair,
a cute phrase spoken in an opportune moment.
This was my God,
Kept in a cage.
Kept in a cage.
Was this my Creator?
Was this my Healer?
Was this my Savior?
Where was the thunder?
Where was the lightning?
Was this the God of Moses?
Was this the God of Elijah?
Was this the Great I AM?
I didn’t know.
I had caged him in my mind,
I had tamed him in my heart.
His cage I had formed from understanding,
The bars from comprehension,
The chains from familiarity.
And I dared him to escape.
I dared him to break out.
But he never did.
So I kept him, day after day.
My God in a cage,
I walked free.
Or so I thought.
But after a while the darkness of the dawn was illuminated by the brilliant light of the morning.
And behold⸺I was exposed.
Behold, the cage was empty.
He was not there.
And I was gripped with grief.
I was stricken with sorrow.
My God, my God,
Why have you forsaken me?
Why have you forsaken your cage?
No longer could I hear him speak.
No longer could I play with him.
No longer could I show him off.
My heart felt empty.
My mind raged.
No longer did my imagination cure up images of the unseen God I loved.
No longer did the voice in my head sound like many waterfalls.
Not even a trickle remained.
My Fantasy, my Fantasy,
why have you forsaken me?
Soon the questions bred.
Incessantly, they ravaged my faith,
Until it remained nothing more than a nice thought,
A fatal romanticism,
A random stir of emotion,
Here and there,
Fleeting like the wind,
Cold like winter.
Amidst broken thoughts and desolate tears I looked at the cage,
Small, crude, forsaken,
It had never contained God,
It had contained me.
See, in the frailty of my perception,
In the passivity of my comprehension,
In the carnality of my pride I couldn’t see God,
So I made him.
I created my Creator and then caged him within the limitations of human intellect,
I limited him within the confines of finite imagination.
He became my imaginary friend, not an infinite Spirit.
He existed only where I could fit him.
All else was foolishness.
He was only what I could explain.
How could I believe when I had not seen?
How could I have faith when I had not heard?
Surely God, even God of the highest heavens could be interpreted through my earthly senses. So when the cells in my body remained as they were, I refuted anything but a God in theory.
He must be too good to dwell with us.
So he dwells in our books.
He becomes our most beautiful concept.
We are theists in profession,
But deists in practice.
He is too big for our houses so we bring him to our courts.
We put the Judge on trial.
“Prove you exist!” we scream at him,
And by doing so we prove this very thing.
Slam the gavel down, declare the sentence, and send him off to prison.
We have no prison big enough, no jail cell grand enough, no jailor strong enough,
To contain a God who exists outside of time and thought.
There is no cage that can keep such a God.
I beg of you, do not try.
Let him keep you instead.