Tuesday, September 27, 2005
God and the Love-Proof Man
But touching me with love is a lot like dripping water onto a red-hot skillet. Pow! Recoil, and an even stronger desire to head for far away places so as to avoid the overwhelming thermal stress.
Of course, being God, he doesn't quit. His way is to patiently apply what he can, wait for the flight response to damp out and then do it again. And again. However long it takes.
The season is coming. The season of guilt-based loving: I'll buy you a present if you'll by me one. God gave me a gift just because of who he is. He continues to give gifts, knowing that anything I can do for him he can do better except that he wants more than function. He wants me.
Churches, mysticism, theology, it all just evaporates under the unchanging light of God's real love. God said "I am." He also said "You are." And there I was. Product of a fallen world but still utterly precious to him. Prostrate on the floor, capable only of the most basic kind of living, shying away from light even in small, dim doses.
He started where I was. "I am." He will do what he promises, and proved it long before any of us came along. He promised a way out of my muck and then did it. Did he do it to earn my love? No. He knew that I was incapable of love. Did I do anything to earn this? No, other than simple need. Without him I'm fallen and less capable than a newborn baby.
What is the growth of a follower of Jesus like? I have no real idea. The whole topic is so saturated with bullshit that it's a wonder anyone actually manages to see the face of Jesus shining beyond all the evangelical machinery. The only way to find out is to be experimental, almost daring God to return me to life. When all the known ways don't work, it's time to look for alternatives. When there is nothing to lose, why not?
God saw me coming, knew what I'd ask for, and quietly laughed to himself. "You think you're love-proof? Wait. You think you're unlovable? Wait for what I'm going to do. You think you're challenging me by being radical and unconforming? Wait. You'll see you're going right down the center of the way I set for you.
If you're gonna be weird, you might as well be weird. Nothing is weirder than a weirdo trying to look normal. Forget it. This is life and death. The only question is whether to write about it. It's hard to put such things into words, but it's easier when I know that people have long since forgotten this Blog.
Mainstream Christianity thinks that being daring is sticking a toe in the pool. Desperation says there's a fire behind, so jump full-honk into the deep end and hope God is really quick with the swimming lessons. The problem is that some lessons take longer than others
It takes time for God's love to saturate the superheated defenses. He does it, though, and that's even worse than being left alone. My world comes apart. I know how to live in a loveless world and am afraid of anything else. It's no longer loveless and now it is a very strange place. I spend a lot of time not looking at it. Trying to hide.