In the Trenches

Understanding the adolescent mind.

What Does God Look Like?

What Does God Look Like?

Since the beginning of time, man has searched to understand the concept of God.  I met Apostle/Reveand Kim R. Brewer in my photographic quest.  I wanted to photograph what God looks like on the faces of people praying.  I had been waiting for a chance to photograph a Pentecostal service and Reverand Brewer gave me that opportunity. 

 In the past, I had participated in many different religious ceremonies but I had not attended a Pentecostal prayer and healing service.  I was excited to have been invited and found the experience exhilarating.  The gospel music, by Minster Lisa D. Nelson, was energizing.  You don't need a cup of coffee to wake you up, when you have Day Break to listen to!

Reverand Brewer’s prayer and healing service was motivational and positively charged.   The congregation began dancing. The whole room became charged with electrical energy.

What does God look like?  Everyone has to answer that question for themselves.  That day, the expressions on everyone’s face showed they had reached a different state of consciousness.  A state of being that had moved people away from their sorrows and pains to a peaceful and joyous state.

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     Andrew Newburg and Mark R. Waldman in their book, How God Changes Your Brain, writes about how God is both a feeling and a idea and that the idea of God is introduced to children by their parents.  He concluded from his research that the way we imagine what God looks like changes throughout our lifetime.  “ For example, children below the age of six usually drew faces, while children between the ages of six and ten mostly drew faces and people.  God was seen as a protector or a king, sometimes living in a palace or in the clouds.  Occasionally, angels or biblical scenes would be depicted, but as children grew older, faces and people were replaced by more symbolic images such as crosses, hearts, open hands or an eye hovering in the sky.  The oldest children often represented God as the sun or as radiating spirals and light.  In all studies, the use of symbols increased with age.” 

     When asked, “How would you draw God?”   Reverand Brewer said, “I would draw God as a heart.  Minister Lisa D. Nelson said, “I would leave my sheet blank.  That God is limitless and a drawing would be too confining for her image of what God looks like.”  I am an agnostic.   If I were asked the question,” What does God look like?”  I would say, “I photographed God.”  God was on every person’s face that attended Rev. Brewer’s prayer and healing worship.

 

Photo credits wanda behrens redleashstudio.com

Newberg M.D., Andrew, Waldon, R. Mark: How God Changes Your Brain, Random House, 2009

Interview with Apostle/ Rev. Kim R. Brewer and Minster Lisa D. Nelson, January, 2010.

©2010 Wanda Behrens Horrell, All Rights Reserved

www.wandabehrenshorrell.com

wjb60@columbia.edu

 

Wanda Behrens-Horrell, L.C.S.W., N.C.Psy.A, is a child developmental psychoanalyst in Scarsdale, NY.

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