My view of God is unbalanced. I hope yours is as well.
Balanced views belong to scientists, to statisticians, to people who know everything while knowing nothing at all.
For example, how does a scientist or a statistician see New York City?
Land area: 790 km2
Average elevation: 10m
Gross metropolitan product: $1.13 trillion
Homicide rate: 0.00007.3 per capita
Average commute time: 38.4 minutes
Annual precipitation: 117cm
And so on and so forth… With enough of this sort of data, you would have a very balanced view of New York. You would really know the city, wouldn’t you?
Well, no. Of course you wouldn’t. Your head could be swollen with all those facts and you would have no idea what it feels like to walk down 34th Street on a busy morning and stare up at the Empire State Building disappearing in the fog. Or how you might feel walking through Central Park or East Flatbush at 3 in the morning. Or the sights and sounds and smells of Coney Island on a hot summer day, or Time’s Square on New Year’s Eve.
Those experiences would not give you a balanced view of New York, but definitely a more memorable one. Would you rather hear about New York from someone who had spent a summer, or maybe a lifetime there? Or from a statistician?
Knowing God is a little like knowing New York City. Nobody really knows God, but the unbalanced perspective of one who has experienced him, who has tasted and touched in some little way, is far more fascinating to me than the systematic theology books I’ve read.
That’s why I say God is kind. That is simply the glimpse that I have had of him. This miserable pharisee of crusty heart and cynical mind, smitten by the inexplicably sweet affection and mercy of the Father of the universe, can only say softly, with dazed wonder… “He is kind.”
It is good that I tell about his kindness too much. It is good that I don’t try to balance it with an analysis of his justice or his wrath. I don’t know much about those things. They are just ideas in my head, not realities in my heart. Someone else will have to help you understand that side of God. All I know is this…
He is kind.