Saint Teresa of Avila wrote “All concepts of God are like a jar we break, because only the infinite can contain our perfect love.”
Do you have a certain picture of God? I do. Sure, there's the old man with a beard sitting on a throne. But more than that, I can sometimes think of God as a measuring stick. And I don't always measure up. Not a very uplifting image of God.
A couple of years ago, I had some dreams that were striking. At the time, I was getting down on myself for something or other. And I was missing my grandma, who had died several years before.
One week I dreamed about my grandma 3 nights in a row. On the first night, I dreamed that I tried to hug her, but my hands went right through her. Then the second night, the hug worked. I felt it. On the third night, there were no hugs, just warm, hospitable laughter.
After that 3rd night, I went for a morning walk. Why was I dreaming these dreams? I didn't get it. It just made me miss my grandma even more.
But then as I walked, it struck me suddenly. So suddenly that I started to cry. This could be my image of God. My grandma, who always warmly welcomed me. Where I always felt like I was enough. I measured up. But with her, it wasn't even about measuring. It was about being - talking, sitting, visiting, quilting, painting, baking, laughing. Perfect love.
So for me, God is like a grandma.
There. A new image. A jar broken.