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Keith Wishum: Getting a glimpse of God

What would you pay for a glimpse of God?
Twenty-eight thousand dollars is what Golden Palace.com reportedly shelled out in 2004, for a 10-year-old, grilled cheese sandwich. They paid so much for the used sandwich because it has an image on it that is supposedly that of the Virgin Mary. You can now get a T-shirt with the image on it for only $19.99.
Diana Duyser of Hollywood, Florida, says she made the sandwich and had taken a bite before she noticed the startling image. She then encased the remnants in a clear plastic box and kept it on her nightstand for 10 years. Then, she decided to see what it would bring on eBay. Bidding was fierce.
Is the image really a likeness of the Virgin Mary? How would anyone know since nobody knows what Mary looked like? How did the image get on the toasted bread? Some claim a miracle, others say it was careful buttering, and some just chalk it up to coincidence.
There is even disagreement over the actual price paid for the grilled cheese. A Miami TV station reported that the high bids were bogus, and Duyser got only $71 from the Las Vegas gambling firm.
Perhaps the biggest question is: Why does anyone care?
We can get a glimpse of God without paying a penny. Jesus claimed, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). In the person of Jesus, we already have our glimpse of God.
Our glimpse is not in a photograph. It’s better. From a photo, we would only know what the human Jesus looked like, but from the record we have of the life he lived, we can see how God acted while in our shoes.
His portrait in the gospels shows us how to react to our enemies so we can learn to love those who do not love us. His life shows us how he would treat somebody of another race, so we have a model of proper race relations. He shows us how to react to stress and worry, what should be our top priorities in life, how to resist temptation, and ways to make a lasting difference in the world.
In all those ways and many more, Jesus provides us with a living glimpse of God. If you want lunch, grab a grilled cheese. If you want to glimpse God, invest some time reading the gospels.

Keith Wishum is minister, Williams Road Church, Americus.