Many years ago I was invited to a dinner with Dustin Hoffman. And this is what I expected.


Clearly, I’m not a celebrity, and I don’t have cool actor acquaintances, but my friend was on the board of the Chicago Steppenwolf  Theater Company and Dustin was in town to star in Death of a Salesman.

My friend was invited to dinner and her husband didn’t want to go so…I got to be her date.

When we walked into the spacious apartment on the Gold Coast overlooking Lake Michigan, there were maybe 20 beautiful people mingling around in small clusters, balancing glasses of wine and canapés as they chatted.

You know, seeing and being seen.

I looked and looked for Dustin, trying not to peek around corners like a Soviet spy, but I couldn’t spot him anywhere.

There was absolutely no one who looked like the famous actor I had seen in Rainman, Tootsie, and Kramer vs. Kramer.

And then, I noticed someone who was the center of attention. And I peered, staring hard. He was exceedingly short, slight of build, and bald, and yet, yes, it was him.

Dustin Hoffman was nothing like I expected.

The camera can distort or camouflage his height, but he had also totally shaved his head for the role of Willy Loman and then they added hair for the role as shown in this picture.


This did not look like the powerful actor I was expecting.

I was disappointed.

I had to adjust my perceptions to reality.

I had to be open to something new.

Sometimes God appears to be a short bald guy.

Sometimes we’re afraid that because God is different than we expect, maybe He is less than.

God looked different when He showed up with the widow of Zarapath and her handful of flour and oil.

Different when He faced Goliath with David and his 5 smooth stones.

Different when He stood up to King Xerxes with Esther.

What if different isn’t less than?

What if, in the economy of God, different is more than?

God looked different when He showed up as a baby in a barn instead of as a commanding king or captain of companies.

And He looked different when He died on a cross. He looked less than.

But then the resurrection made the cross more than.

Does God seem like a short bald guy when you think God is predictable and all of a sudden He isn’t? When the life you think you want is different from the life He has for you?

God looks different than we expected because my brother David died.

God can seem like a short bald guy. Less than.

But He promises that regardless of how things appear, He’s more than, and we’re trusting Him for that. Daily looking for His more-than-ness.

What if God is always more than? More than we can ask or imagine or easily wrap our minds around.*


*A little extra soul food for those who might want it…

  • 1 Corinthians 1:25-28
  • Revelation 21:5
  • Ephesians 3:20
  • Romans 8:28

What verses would you add?