Yesterday, a friend brought up the subject of God being in everyone. Is He in everyone, she asked. Immediately, everything in me surged forth with, "Yes, yes, yes, God is in everyone."
But I paused and asked myself, "Why do I believe that?"
I couldn't think of a specific Bible verse that backed my belief, though they may indeed exist. I wasn't yet looking for an answer to what the Bible says about it though. I just wanted to know why I believed it. What was it that made my pulse hammer fast with certainty?
All day, I toyed with this concept. God in everyone. I am not talking about everyone being "saved" or "going to heaven" or any of that sort of theology. That is a different matter altogether. I am talking about God, some part of God, being inherent in each of us, regardless of religion or lackthereof.
I thought about the Bible again, about stories Jesus told. I remembered "the least of these."
Maybe, even if God is not in everyone, we should live as if He is. After all, that person I consider 100% lacking in God-filled-ness might actually be Jesus. I may be "entertaining angels unaware."
I liked this idea, but it didn't feel like the answer. Yes, treating everyone as if they are Jesus is a good way to do life. But it doesn't tell me whether some bit of God is actually inside them. And I still felt sure that God was inside everyone.
One of my favorite parts of Yoga is the word Namaste. The light in me recognizes the light in you. To some, it is "the God in me recognizes the God in you." I know half of you will now blow me off as being into New Age-ism and consorting with devils, but hear me out for a minute. Namaste is not the answer to why I believe God is in everyone. My love for the phrase simply reminded me that I do believe it. I believe it very deeply, and it seems others have believed it very deeply along the way. I am not alone here.
So, again, I wondered why.
I went to bed and lay awake, bound and determined to learn the reason for my passionate surety. Why, I asked God. Why do I know it?
The answer came quickly once I asked. It came quickly and in two parts.
First, I thought of God in the garden, creating man from the dust of the earth. Whether you read it as literal or metaphorical, I think we can agree the message comes through. We are made in His image, in Their image. At the very least, each person bears the image of God, their creator.
I am a creator. I don't make people. But, then again, I do.
I create all sorts of people for my stories. I pour myself into them. Pieces of me show up in my characters and the sorts of lives they lead. Even if a poem isn't good, it is still a piece of me. I am in it. A book may never find its way to a shelf, but no matter. I am in the story. I crafted it. I created it. I feel it in me. You can't read it without seeing me there.
So, yes, I thought. There you have it. God created us and breathed into us, so we cannot help but have God inside of us.
Then, as sleep inched closer, I saw my children. I saw them as they are now and as they once were. I remembered their chubby cheeks and sweet giggles. I thought of carrying them inside my body, feeling them move, knowing they are the only people in the world who know how my heart sounds from the inside.
Am I not a child of God? Aren't we all? Not all of His children acknowledge Him. They do not obey Him or even believe that He exists. But that doesn't change who He is. When my oldest son is at his worst, angry and hateful, I am still in him. Honestly, I never see myself inside him more than when he rages against imaginary injustice. My own futile furies are mirrored in his aching face.
They aren't just in my image though. They are made out of me.
Nothing existed without God. All was made from and by His being.
I fell asleep with tears on my cheeks.
Yes, God is in me and you and the lady I spotted digging in the garbage yesterday afternoon. He's in the rich and the poor, the democrats, the republicans, and the fed-up-with-them-all-ians, of which I count myself a party member.
God is not the trees or the flowers or the people He created. I am not worshiping the creation over the Creator. I am simply recognizing the signature of a mighty God scrawled in nail-scarred script on the heart of every canvas.