Do I know God?

On a sunny day, I was walking on the boulevard in Scheveningen. Seagulls flew around and I saw a table with leaflets on everything that was going on there that week.

Do I know God?

They were mainly tourist activities. “Go for shells with the lifeguards” said one leaflet. The other was about a boat trip. In between was a folder with a completely different message: “God knows you, but do you know God too?”


I then walked on the beach, looking at the sea and the seagulls. I had long forgotten about all the other folders, but this one just stuck in my mind. What a question!

You can know other people, I thought. Never completely, but to a very large extent, because you are a human being yourself. You can share their ideas, their goals, their habits, and then you know what they’re like. So, I know people, and they know me: yes, certainly.

It almost has to be for God to know me. If you assume that humanity and therefore every human being was created by God, then I was also created by God. I assume that God knows what he created.

Whether I know God is another matter. Let me start with the question: can you, as a human being, know God? And what does knowing mean here? Is knowing about how something works? Or is it more knowing that someone exists and what they are up to?

If we first take that knowing is about how something works, then I think the answer to the question is ‘no’. I don’t know how God works. I know what I read, what is in all the scriptures, but that does not mean that I know God. It’s not that we shook hands, or that I can write down exactly what God looks like. I know what some people have written about how they see God. But that’s not my own experience.

It’s like the story about blind persons describing an elephant. One says that the elephant is a trunk-like animal while another says that it is a very sturdy animal because he has felt its legs.

One description of God is closer to me than the other. When I read that God is Love, that description really moves me, as opposed to seeing a picture of God as a man with a white beard. Probably no human being can know exactly what God is like, because we cannot grasp that with our human consciousness.

If you assume God is Love, then I think I know God. It is not for nothing that I write ‘Love’ with a capital letter. Because as to ‘ordinary’ love, I know that well. The love I feel for God is different. Bigger, and also not as divided. Not ‘if you don’t love me anymore, then I don’t love you anymore either’, but unconditionally.

The Love of God is there, even when I don’t think about it. Even when I do strange things I think God can only love what he has created. Every time I hear the sentence: God is Love, something moves in me. Something that says yes it is so; it must be so; I know it is.

I once heard the explanation that humanity (so all people who ever were and will be) is actually one organism and that all therefore, belong together. Every human being is a complete human being and has all the qualities that make a human being a human being.

I suppose that this is also the case with God! Every human being knows a piece of God and that piece contains everything that makes God, God.


And so every human being can know God and learn to know Him because every human being carries in his heart a particle of God, I can only experience that part of God that I carry within me.

That then is the answer to the question: by getting to know this particle that I carry, I end up knowing everything.

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Date: June 8, 2023
Author: Maayke Stobbe (Netherlands)
Photo: Jonny Gios on Unsplash CCO

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