I love the image of God in today’s first reading from Genesis (18: 16-33). It’s a true anthropomorphic characterization that I think we ought to consider. God is thinking and expressing concerns about relationship with Abraham and to find out what He/God ought to do relative to the wickedness of the inhabitants of Sodom. (“Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?…I must go down there to see whether or not their actions fully correspond to the cry against them that comes to me. I mean to find out.“)
Following that musing is the famous bargaining conversation that God had with Abraham. (“If there were 50…30…or 20…or even ten innocent people in the city, would you not destroy the city for the sake of the ten?”) God agrees all along the way of that conversation. It’s such a wonderfully human interchange – sounding somewhat like a child to parent or even a bargaining of equals.
How wonderful it would be if we were that confident in “having God’s ear” and talking with that kind of confidence with God. I’m not actually talking about begging for a good outcome, necessarily, but rather just the manner of conversation that God and Abraham actually had with each other. If love and trust are the virtues that we share with our God, shouldn’t we be able to find that kind of confidence? It’s my bet that God would be as happy as we would with that comfortable interchange. Why not begin the conversation and listen for God’s response?