Like wood and stone are easier to manipulate, I believe. We decide their place in our life, on the wall, etc. And that gives us the control that we love and adore. It gives us something we can see. Something visible that we can shake a finger at and is beautiful to the eye. So, faith, with wood and stone is always sight and this puts us in a carnal trance as there’s always something exterior with which we can focus upon. Something “out there” that all our attention can be poured into and we may think it matters. Inwardly ignored and spiritually impoverished.
““ ‘You say, “We want to be like the nations, like the peoples of the world, who serve wood and stone.” But what you have in mind will never happen.” Ezekiel 20:32 NIV
How rare and beautiful it truly is to say: my God. Is it possessive in the sense that we’re in the front yard of our childhood home arranging green army men for battle? Or, possessive in the sense that God’s knowledge of us is absolute? God knows us entirely and that moment of realization is both terrifying and exhilarating. Uh-oh, we aren’t alone and unknown in the world and there was a part of us that was hoping (because we think it would make life easier) it was true. That the clock was wound up and left to tick down. But what a relief and what a love. A God who would even care enough to know.
Imagine a transparent refrigerator. What’s there is what’s there. My life, closed to many, but, to God there’s nothing hidden. Absolute sight is only terrifying without absolute love.
Wood and stone have no sight and, therefore, no knowledge and no future. They are valuable in that we can pretend they’re gods and so be soothed. Soothed by their sight and our ability to squelch vulnerability through them. But, also, anxiety, because we always need to make more. More gods because, with wood and stone, one is never enough. How can it be? How can one god of wood and stone ever be enough? They never fill. They never supply. They never speak inwardly and, therefore, they never listen and so, in a sense, they never are. Wood and stone exist only materially. So, only mentally.
The psychological effect on our life is superficial, temporal, and circumstantial. Wood and stone sooth insofar as they exist, in our eyes, but even that reality is negated by the truth they’re incapable of of inner transformation. In other words, we will always thank wood and stone only in pretense and never with sincerity of heart because we’ll always know they’ve done nothing and are vanity.
We might think a God who knows is a God who controls. Is this, altogether, true, necessarily? But this attitude is only an expression of stubbornness, really. Too big in our own eyes to become small to someone else. Small gods we prefer. So pride can have its way. The translucent refrigerator is an expression of absolute care, not diminutive disregard. False control we love. So, wood and stone we curate.
My God. So communal, yet, entirely, individual. Mind boggling in depth and unsearchable is the nature of such knowledge. It’s a realization and an admission. The realization first: he knows and won’t turn away.