Too often, we are like the people in a story told by Frederich Buechner. Buechner proposes: what would happen if God set about demonstrating his existence and love in some dramatic and irrefutable way?
All of a sudden one night, the world would step outside and written in letters light-years tall, the sentence “I really exist” or “God is.” Suns and moons would dot the i’s and a comet would cross the t’s. He said that if I were going to write a play about it, I would show people sinking to their knees. He said the initial impact of this objective proof of the existence and love of God would cause churches to overflow into football stadiums and open fields. Crime would stop. Wars would cease. A kind of uncanny hush would fall over the world in Buechner’s play.
He said several years would go by and God’s proof of himself would still be blazing away every night for all to read: “I really exist” or “God is.” Buechner says I would be tempted to have God rewrite this message in different languages in colors so brilliant that the last skeptic would be convinced that God must exist and that he loves us.
Reflecting on what mankind has done down through history, the way that Buechner would have his play to end, he said, would be to have a young child look up into the sky some night and say out loud to God, “So what if God exists? What difference does that make?” In the twinkle of an eye, the message would fade, and even if it didn’t, the people, who had grown so accustomed to it, would continue their lives, loving what they want to love, ignoring the experience of God’s presence (Secrets In the Dark17-21).
What would happen if God set about demonstrating his existence and love in some dramatic and irrefutable way? Simply stated: what is currently happening today.
This is what has happened to mankind. We have grown accustomed to the many ways that God has said and is saying “I love you. I am. I exist. My message to you is true. You’re not alone on that planet. You’ve never been forsaken or forgotten. I’ve been pursuing you from the first day of your creation.” God has dramatically spoken, but we haven’t listened.
While God may not be writing legible messages in the stars about Himself, He is in one way or another trying to get messages through our blindness via the Book of Nature – the Cosmic Cathedral – as we move around down here, knee-deep in the muck and misery of our pleasures. We are firmly embedded in a universe wherein every moment of every day, something is proclaiming, “God is. God is.” If God is, then bad can be made good, brokenness and rebellion can be atoned, and chaos can be brought to order. If God is, then there is hope for the hopeless, and help for the helpless. If God is, then everything in life has meaning and purpose.
The great news is that God is…He really is! But here is the bad news. No matter if God wrote a message in every language known to man with stars and comets in the skies, there would be those who would still assert “I don’t believe in God.” They would explain why the stars and comets created the words “God is” in the skies; that it was just a coincidence; that there couldn’t possibly be Someone behind the statement; that the planets aligned somehow – accidentally even; that a rational case can be made for God’s non-existence.
Such is a heart that is bent and determined to not allow God to be God. Offer alternative explanations for the evidence, even though its obvious, that God is. “God is,” says the atheist. “But I don’t want Him to be.”