August 1, 2010

"I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord."

I would be quiet, I would rest with. I would speak, I would break from imagining into communion. (Would in the sense of my will, not "I would if I could.")

I wonder about mistaking God for people, or people for God. I'm coming to realize that I cannot see God's face. I think I talked about this in my "image of God" post. This upset me for a while; it's hard to talk to someone you can't stare in the eye. Eye contact is very significant to me. I've talked about this with a few people here: who is God? How do you think about him? What I think is that God is a presence, a greatness, that demonstrates himself in people, in the sunset, in beauty. They don't simply speak about God's nature, or declare the glory of God, they communicate him, in a way.

But. I can think about this in the wrong way, somehow upsidedown. (I overuse the word somehow.) I can try to picture God and put the face of my friends there, subconsciously. Or when I miss people, or feel mournful or poetic, I wonder if I breathe by feeling or breathe the spirit of God. Yet God is not pure feeling, nor is what is intellectual spiritual. The song "human" took on significance for me two days ago, as I witnessed people who live by feeling, brimmed, and myself, seeming hardened, devoted to nothing. But love is as much reason as it is emotion. Logic is found in love.

I am... weighed down now with what I've found through examining myself. I'm tired, of course, but there's more to it. Do you know how it is when you feel like there is much you need to pray about, people who you want to feel loved, people you want to enjoy, your own self you need to be made right, and yet you don't seem to have the strength to pray to God sincerely heartfully as you should? It's like that. Which is no comparison at all. Wry smile.

Something I was meaning to say as a continuation of my thoughts from my last blog post. The reason, I think, we say "I love you" both as a statement of excitement or spontaneity and to promise responsibility towards a person, is found in the different types of love. The more lighthearted love is more of a "taking joy" love, an appreciative love, seeing them as they are (as they could be), while the more serious love is agape love, or sacrifice. On that note: something that stuck with me from Wheatstone was what Dr. Reynolds said in response to a student's question. "I look at you and all I can see is how amazing you could be," he said. And so I want to see. I am ... humbled by those who do see, and right my perspective. It is joy to see clearly, to think of people as redeemed creatures. "I knew now, that it is by loving, and not by being loved, that one can come nearest the soul of another." I tell you, Phantastes changed me.

The evening program was true, startling me in its depth and beauty. A work of art, in that it lifted me from incessant work and reminded me of all there was to think about (similar to, oh the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!) and live by. I hardly caught anything, except an appreciation of its theology and George MacDonaldesque scenes.

1 Peter 1:22-23: "Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God." 

To speak is a gift, not a hope (like happiness is added to joy, not enough alone). I long to explain my heart, how... something so simple as writing a blog post makes me wonder if I care about expression more than I care about God and honesty. And to stop and listen, and grace. The holy spirit. I felt the Lord asking me if I loved him more, if I could seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. I answered that I wanted all things to be added to me. I saw what it was to love from a pure heart. Obedience to the truth that God is above all and everything and that I am His. So reminded of my identity, of the permanent, (of the new covenant ... 2 Cor 3) and secure in loving him, blessed by how he yearns jealously over the spirit he has made to dwell in us, I may then love humans, love them through the love of Christ.

It was as if God called me to his side, and I spoke with him intently, then filled with joy, asked if I could go off and enjoy the other people there. Yes, he said, and Catey walked into the room and demonstrated the perfection of the will of God.

I go off singing.


Michael said...

This is so wonderful! I feel like I understand. Thank you for sharing all of this! I'm not sure I really have much to say, just listening.

"I felt the Lord asking me if I loved him more, if I could seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. I answered that I wanted all things to be added to me. I saw what it was to love from a pure heart." This reminds me of what I was trying to communicate to you that had happened to me after the great divorce program at masters.

And I most definitely wrote down that quote from Phantastes. :)