The Face of Their God

I sat by four girls in a cafe. They sat on high stools around a small table each with an open Bible. They made the sign of the cross. I tried to read but could only hear them pray.

I saw their god. An old man. Wise. Kind. But not benevolent. Fatherly in appearance not too different from their own fathers. He had a unique face because the god a people pray to looks a little different from place to place and from people to people and his virtues change but they call him the same.

By the forces of mundane synchronicity and ineluctable punctuation I knocked a small clear acrylic sign holder off my high table. It landed loudly catching the attention of the room. An inconsequential and thinly acute triangular shard broke off. I stared at the ripples the sound made in everyone’s attention. One of the praying girls did not hesitate to reach for the fallen sign. But I said leave it.

I held the shard between two fingers remembering an old gnostic myth that recounts an alternate story of the Christian god as a lesser god who had stolen light to create his own world to rule in local omnipotence. In his pride he made man both naked and naive. But a serpent found its way in and showed the man that his god was a fragment of a greater thing and that heaven and earth were both a part of a greater thing and that man contained within him the light.