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From Black & White to High Definition

Bill Lizor

TV hasn’t always been in high definition. Screens haven’t always been the size of movie theater screens. TV hasn’t always been in color. (Scary but true!) Once upon a time, we didn’t have DVRs and we watched shows live when they first aired, without fast-forwarding through commercials.

For me, thinking about “God in HD” isn’t about particular shows I watch or characters I love. It’s more about the television itself.

When I was a kid, we had a small black and white television in the kitchen upstairs. We watched cartoons during breakfast or game shows right before dinner. It was awesome! But the TV was small; and because it had no color, it got boring. When we wanted a better TV experience, we went to the living room. There, directly opposite the couch, stood a large color TV built into its own wooden cabinet. Compared to the little black and white, this TV was a giant. I was a kid, and the people on this TV seemed much closer to my size. The color was lifelike.

Several years ago, my sister and I talked our parents into making the jump into this century by getting a new TV. I went with them as they walked down row after row of TVs and finally selected the one that became the crown jewel of our family’s entertainment center. Now, in the middle of our living room sits a top-of-the-line 40” High Definition LCD television. I remember the first time we turned it on. The colors were unreal. We could see every detail on every object. To be honest, we didn’t need to see every tiny detail of the local news anchor’s face, but having the option made all the difference.

God in HD

By now, you’re probably wondering, What does this have to do with God? And rightly so!

My relationship with God is sort of like my family’s history with television. In the early days, I saw everything a specific way. When I thought about God, I envisioned a tiny paper Jesus on a bulletin board at church. It had the same depth as that little black and white TV in the kitchen.

As I grew up, my image of God started to change. Suddenly, passages of the Bible took on new meaning. The face of God became clearer and looked a lot different. Now, I’m beginning to see God in HD. Every time I read or think about scripture, tiny details begin to emerge. As I continue to grow, I look forward to all the ways my image of God will change and become clearer. God in HD is more real than ever before.

How about you? Are you seeing God in HD, or is it time for an upgrade?

DIG DEEPER

Go low tech. Grab a piece of paper (go ahead, I’ll wait). Draw, write, or doodle your thoughts about seeing God in HD. These questions may help:

  • What does God look like to you? How clear is the picture?
  • Where do you see God on TV?
  • If you’re not into TV, what technology is God most like? Why?
Bill Lizor —When he’s not off fighting crime or dreaming of making the world a better place, Bill works as an HIV educator in Nashville, Tennessee, and lives with his dog Baxter.

—from devozine (January/February 2012). Copyright © 2011 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved.

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