Is God a Man?

The day started with my usual routine, driving my baby girl to school while on my way to work.  Some days we ride in silence, some days we sing Christian songs at the top of our lungs, but today, Sophie was inquisitive.

The first question posed to me was, “Is Mark Twain still alive?”  I wanted to giggle, but I seriously replied, “Well, no, my sweetheart, but he lives on through his stories.”  I was thinking what a goofy kid, until God popped a long lost memory into my head.  Probably close to 50 years ago, I was on vacation with my BFF, Celeste.  Her mom was telling us about Methuselah being a man that is reported to have lived the longest, 969 years.  I was in awe and asked Mrs. Lee if he was still alive.  I guess the granddaughter apple did not fall far from the grandmotherly tree.

So we are merrily riding along when Sophie poses the next question to me.  “How do we know that God is a man and not a woman?”  Well, I guess that is a good question on this International Women’s Day, but she should have known the answer to that.  I replied, “the Bible refers to our Father (not Mother) in heaven, as in this verse:

‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.  –Luke 12:32″

She was satisfied with both answers so far.  But then, she drops the strangest on me by far.  “If Jesus walked on water, did He swim on the land?”  I had to shake my head on that one.  I had to think of how to reply to this, but God provided the answer.  Matthew 14:22-33 popped into my head.

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

So I told Sophie that Jesus did not have to swim on the land.  Jesus walked on water to teach a lesson of faith to his disciples and that was sufficient without adding the extra step of swimming on land.

Sophie was quiet a moment, probably contemplating her next question.  Fortunately for me, we turned into the school yard and I deposited my inquisitive, precious little package in the drop off line, wishing her a great day and giving her all my love.  As I drove off, I said a silent prayer for her teachers.