Monday, May 14, 2012

WHAT DOES GOD LOOK LIKE?

When Mom was a little girl, she had a picture in her head of what God looked like, and she thought everybody else had this same picture of Him.  In Mom's head, God looked tall and thin and old, and he wore a white powdered wig, just like George Washington did.  God stood up in the clouds, which was where Heaven was, and in front of Him there was a conveyor belt.  Everyone said that God made babies, and Mom knew that people made things by putting all the parts together.  So she figured that God had lots of parts of babies on his conveyor belt, and He put them together, and that's how He made babies.


Well, one day while Mom was hanging out in the house, waiting for it to be suppertime, she decided to look up God in the Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia, which her family had all the volumes of, right there in the living room.  Mom wanted to see if there was a picture of God in the encyclopedia.  And it turned out that there really was a picture, but Mom was shocked to see that in this picture, God was a big, muscular guy, and he had his arms spread out over the clouds.  He wasn't wearing a wig, and there was no conveyor belt for making babies.

So Mom went and asked her mom, my Grandma Helen, why the picture in the encyclopedia was all wrong.  And Grandma Helen said it was because God was a spirit, so nobody really knew what He looked like.  And in fact, He didn't look like anything at all, because you can't really see a spirit.  But people imagined Him in all sorts of different ways.  This was kind of a hard idea for a little girl who was maybe 7 or so at the time to understand, but eventually Mom stopped thinking of God as a tall, thin man with a powdered wig.

Well, I got to wondering what other pictures people had made of God, even though He can't really be seen.  I am just talking about the God of the Jews and Muslims and Christians.  There are tons of other gods, and people have made lots of pictures of them, but I don't have time to talk about them all, so I have to set some boundaries, as Mom's therapist would say.

A lot of people believe that God created the earth and all the animals and everything else in it.  So God shows up in many pictures as The Creator.


Here's a picture of God creating all the animals that live on earth.  This painting was done by "R," whoever that is.  I have looked for a dog in this picture, but I have not found one.














This painting is by William Blake, who was also a poet.  When he wasn't busy writing poetry, Mr. Blake liked to paint.  This painting is called God as an Architect.
























I don't know who made this picture, but I would tell you if I knew.  Anyway, this shows God resting after He finished all the hard work of  Creation.  He is using the earth as His foot stool.  I just hope His feet are not too heavy, so that nothing gets smashed!














A very famous painter named Michaelangelo painted several pictures of The Creation, and he painted them on the ceiling of a place called the Sistine Chapel, which is in Rome.    In this first picture, God is dividing the light from the darkness.












And here He is making Adam, who was the very first man.  In this painting, God is sort of holding onto an angel with one arm, and he is also being held up by a bunch of angels.  At least I think they are angels.  I wonder if God needs to do this so that He won't fall out of Heaven.  But I'm not an art critic or a theologian, so I don't understand these things.






Anyway, this picture by Michaelangelo is really, really famous, so a lot of people have made their own versions of it.  Here's one where God is reaching out to a photo that was taken by the Hubble space telescope, so it looks like He is creating the stars and galaxies and everything else that's out there.











But this is my very favorite version, because it shows God creating Dog!












Okay, well, the rest of the pictures I found of God are mostly just called God the Father, like this one is.  They do not show God creating anything.  This one was painted by an artist named Francesco di Giorgio Martini.












Here's a painting of God dressed sort of like a pope.  The name of the painting is God Inviting Christ to Sit on the Throne at His Right Hand, and the artist is Pieter de Grebber.




















This is a painting called God the Father, by Cima da Conegliano.


















Léon Frédéric painted this picture, which is also called God the Father.  By the way, in all of this artwork, you can tell that God is very old because He has white hair and a long, white beard.























Here's a picture of God from 1860 that was drawn by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld.  I don't know why God has no feet in this picture, but maybe they are hidden in the clouds or in a ray of light.  Or maybe the artist just didn't like to draw feet.















And finally, here is God writing His blog, just like I write my blog, so now I know that when I write in my blog, I am doing a Very Good thing!

12 comments:

  1. Loved today's blog! I hadn't given thought to what God looks like in a long, long, long time!! I, too, can remember asking my parents about what God looks like and why he never shaved. My parents always got a little flustered with those questions. They usually answered with some kind of quick answer and then quickly send me away to play. Ha! I do like the picture of God creating dogs...hmmm...guess I'll have to see if there is one where he created cats. I always say, "he" but my daughter always refers to God as, "she." Guess we can imagine God any way we want to! :)
    Love, AP

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    1. Dear Aunt Patty,
      I like to think of God as a "she," but I didn't find any pictures of God as a woman. Which is really sad because girls rock! Somebody must have made a picture of God creating cats, but it wouldn't have been the ancient Egyptians, because they thought cats WERE gods!
      Love, Piper

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  2. God when lexigrammed becomes Dog..Dogs are very dear to God. You ridicule a dog, abuse him, drive him away.. Yet he comes with his tail wagging..eyes full of doting love!God loves us soooo much..whether we believe in him or not..! He only loves.

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  3. I don't think we can place God as having one particular image, I think if you tried to picture him after seeing him, you wouldn't really know or remember what he looks like, but remember this: the Christian God is love.

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  4. Really interesting.

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  5. i found this very interesting to read and was very helpful.

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  6. This post is educational, light-hearted and respectful. Thank you for this post!

    Of course, the real God is way beyond anything any image could show.

    -Bill

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    1. Thank you for writing a comment about my blog post. I am glad you liked reading it. I agree that we can't really imagine what God looks like, but that has not kept a lot of artists from trying!

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  7. Wowzerz! Thos pics were fab! But i do wish there were pics of she gods, cuz itz all about girls. Guys arent important, juz kidding! Luved the blog

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    1. Dear Anonymous,
      I am glad you liked my blog entry about God. Thanks for writing some comments about it. I agree that there should be more pictures of God as a female. Some religions have female gods, but those are different from the Judeo-Christian tradition, which is what I was writing about.
      Piper

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  8. you can not make an image of god. god is pure energy. the love of man kind

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