Recently, I was speaking with a classmate of mine (a lawyer in her previous life before coming to seminary), and I asked her about the attorneys who advertise on television: “Why are they so loud, and pushy, and overly-aggressive? They’re portraying this ultra-manliness, this testosterone-filled anger, and they all just want to fight.”
My friend pointed out that most of those lawyers are reaching out to particular clients who are hurt – physically or emotionally – and want the most compensation they can get. These people who are looking for lawyers want someone that can relate to their anger, their frustration, their rage. They’re looking for a fighter.
This really does make sense to me – when I needed a lawyer to help me with some stuff, I didn’t want someone who would be meek and mild in front of a judge. I wanted someone who would be strong, assertive, and would have my very best interests in mind.
Truthfully, I usually want a God who is kind of the same way. I want a God who’s going to put me first; I want a God who’s going to make sure I’m taken care of; I want a God who knows the system; I want a God who won’t back down. I want a God that will smite my enemies, vanquish my foes, and raise me up from the valleys. I want a God like this because it feels like I have to fight a lot – I have to fight to make it academically, financially, emotionally, spiritually. So, when I feel like I have to fight, I want someone on my team who can fight as well, or better than I can.
But that’s not always the best approach, honestly – both for lawyers and God. Sometimes things need to be handled gently…sometimes I need a God that will sit me down with my enemies or my situations and mediate. Sometimes I need a God that will tell me it’s going to be a losing battle and that I need to give it up before I start. Sometimes I need a God who will refuse my case all together because there’s insufficient evidence, unreliable witnesses, or there simply is nothing to be fighting for.
While God can be big and loud, seemingly shouting from the rooftops or standing in power positions, most of the time we need our Creator to just sit down with us, tell us it’s okay, and give us a hug. With faith and understanding, may we see God for the wholly-divine, omniscient, omnipotent, ever-loving, strong, passionate, compassionate, and loving Divine that we need.
much love. sheth.