Safe God?

Amar Yashlaha photo

“Safe?” said Mr Beaver. “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Have you ever stared into a black hole – a chaos you can’t face?

You try to pretend it away. Easier to just not see it, right?

But that’s not easy when it’s a memory you can’t erase,

Even though you try to avoid the bright light,

These contradictions turn your mind into a fuse,

And you wait helplessly until it blows.

Yes, there are two books, Old and New – but this isn’t a ruse,

It’s not an attempt to sucker nations into forgetting their woes,

There was a God who went to war and left kingdoms in ashes,

There was a God – way back then –

Who left wounds like slashes

And purged evil before you could say amen;

Do you think he somehow disappeared, this God?

Do you think he ‘modernized’ into someone benign?

Someone we can box in, manage, add to our squad?

It doesn’t work like that – we can’t just draw a line

And think he’ll stay behind it.

He stays the same through ages

We sing, but we kind of gloss over that bit.

God is vast, dangerous and unable to fit inside our cages;

The very same who said an eye for an eye

Also told us to turn the other cheek;

We cannot delude ourselves, nor should we try

Our arguments will all sound weak,

Jesus isn’t ‘nice.’ He loves with a ferocity

That those religious leaders couldn’t cope with;

They railed at him and called him an atrocity,

They branded him a liar, tried to turn him into a myth;

Jesus hung out with the scum of society,

He broke the rules of the righteous,

Yet he lifted up the abused and beaten-down variety,

And called whores and thieves priceless.

In every century he clashed against the social norms,

Our God today is one and the same,

He is not some pretty toy who happily conforms;

Yet he is still the God who knows us each by name;

He is not safe a God.

But he is good. 

~ Ilana Reimer


5 thoughts on “Safe God?

  1. M.W.

    I will read this poem again often. Thank you for encapsulating the images and ideas in a manner useful for both thinking and praying.

    Who would want a “safe” God? The power of possibility in His Word and deeds leave safety so far behind it’s not even in the picture.

    A poem full of wonder, and I’m grateful.


    1. Ilana Reimer

      Thank you Marjorie! I find that so often I try to “explain away” God’s actions when I cannot understand them – rather than simply accepting and worshiping Him for who He truly is.

      And I deeply appreciate your encouragement! Hope you are staying warm on this snowy day. :)


  2. This is so thought-provoking! And I think that all too often, we (and I’m so guilty of it) pretend that God is safe so that others will “accept” Him. But He doesn’t need to be accepted, after all. One day, every knee will bow. Until then, how many people are fooled into thinking that God is safe because we have told it that way?


    1. Ilana Reimer

      Yes…this is something that I’ve been wrestling with lately. And I agree, other people’s perception of God is so often created by our own failure to describe Him accurately.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Sovereign, Powerful and Justified in All He Does – Jordy Leigh

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