In Rabbi David Aaron’s book “Seeing G-d” he writes that many of us have fabricated an image in our minds as children of what G-d looks like. As we get older, we are left sorely disappointed with our relationship with G-d because our childlike image never really matures. This can leave us disappointed, disillusioned non-believers, or disrupted by the constant image of some old guy with a beard dressed as a wizard holding a wand, much like Dumbledore in Harry Potter.
Although we have evolved as adults, our image remains the same. He even goes on to say that the word G-d in that light would be considered a “bad word,” for we warp the term with our own juvenile imaginations. I have a friend who confessed to me her image of G-d was of a Judging creature who waits cautiously as she makes mistakes to take his wrath out on her with raging fury. This image has left her religious experience dogmatic and filled with guilt, and remorse. She is left obsessing over her mistakes that would cause her to feel judged. Others have told me their image is of a blank sky with nothing in it, making them feel as though there is no G-d at all.
World-renowned speaker, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Jacobson suggests that the word G-d can be swapped with the word “reality”, which can completely alter our image of Divine Matter from confusing to enlightening. Making that change can truly be affective in getting rid of that childlike image that can haunt our dreams, our opinions, and reliance on a lofty subject that is indescribable.
Personally, I have been pretty lucky all my life. My image as a child was pretty awesome. I dare say the coolest image ever. Although, I have managed to have it evolve after hearing Rabbi Jacobson’s suggestion, it still leaves me tickled. When I was a kid my favorite movie was called “Oh God”. Nothing conjures up doting Heavenly love or affection quite like the great George Burns. Plus he lived till a hundred. He was funny, and he seemed to be immortal never dying even with the cigar in his mouth. He liked to laugh and even enjoyed massages every day. He was kind to himself and kind to others. He was always smiling and made everyone around him feel welcomed. At least he was all those things in the movie. I have no idea what he was like in real life.
As a kid, I had no real issues about my G-d at all. Although, I was concerned that he was a bit too short. Plus he had no real super powers except for vanishing and re-appearing now and then unexpectedly. That must be where I got the warped idea that sometimes G-d takes a hiatus, he chimes in and out when you least expect it, except when you’re ignoring the “signs”, then he comes in with a cigar in his mouth saying, “It’s true. People have trouble remembering my words. Moses had such a bad memory I had to give him tablets.”
Look at the photographs and still frames in your mind… what does your photo of G-d look like? The good news is there is always photo shop. ‘Course if your G-d looks anything like mine, you may need to hit save and come back to that funny image now and again. If you are having a hard time conjuring up an original image, or are looking for a new portrait- or a new reality that reflects your more mature attitude towards “G-d”, you can always just “take two tablets”. Or go watch Harry Potter.