Random Blog Clay Feet: February 01, 2008
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Friday, February 01, 2008

Close Encounter

I wish I could write with my heart and not have to go through my head and my hands. But I can't and if I don't write I am afraid I will lose many things that I don't want to forget so here I am again.

Yesterday I felt God surprise me while I was driving home on slippery roads by saying something very intimate to my heart. He said something like, I want you to love me intelligently, not just blindly. How would you feel if someone you loved just blindly did whatever you told them or wanted them to do without any spontaneity or passion. You would not feel loved, you would just feel like you had a very submissive servant. But there would be no spark there, no excitement, no back and forth interaction like two lovers animated to find ways to make the other light up with pleasure. But that is the kind of relationship that I want us to have with each other.

I was surprised and delighted and confused all at the same time. My first question (the plague of my intellectual orientation) was, “How do you have an interactive relationship like that with someone who already knows everything you think and everything you will think. The element of surprise would seem to be one of the most important parts of intimacy but it is obviously impossible to surprise God. So how does this work?”

I told Him all that and He reminded me that, as a matter of fact, He is bigger than the little box I am trying to put Him in with that question. Just because I am not capable of being surprised if I already know something doesn't translate to Him not being able to deal with that problem Himself. He is much bigger than the simplistic problems my mind comes up with like this and I can trust Him to handle His side of the relationship very well without my having to understand how He can do it.

I accepted that gentle rebuke and then began to ponder just what this offer really means. I could not mistake the fact that I had felt the invitation and that I wanted the same thing myself. I felt that He was getting tired of many of my attempts to expect Him to do all the loving on both sides even though He is the only real source of love to start with. What He seems to be asking me to do is to begin to use more of the creativity and inner resources of my own heart to begin to make this relationship more dynamic and “balanced” and not so limp and tiring.

In one way that sounds like an impossible request. After all, the imbalance between us is so extreme it is ludicrous. How does a lowly, stubborn, sin-confused peon have a dynamic intimacy with the One who is bigger than the whole universe, who is so intimidatingly awesome that... well, you get the point. But on the other hand that is really what the whole plan of salvation is about and He wants me to start getting more serious about it on the intimate level.

That is mind-staggering and I definitely am going to need His help in teaching me how to love the way that He wants. Intellectually I may understand the theory about all of this (or maybe more like a little part of it) but for Him to come and personally invite me in such a quiet, surprising way to turn my attention in that direction with my heart is, well, flattering. To even write about it seems to spoil its excitement to some extent. Maybe I am spilling too much and He might prefer to keep this between us. I don't know yet.

On the other hand, I know there are many others like me who are hungering for that personal touch, that personalized invitation from God to step across the line from theory to intimacy and discover the sparks that breath real life into the inner being. I know that is what He wants for me and He also wants to make an example of me to attract others into the same kind of relationship with Him as I am privileged to enjoy. Yes, I say that all with my head, but my heart is still back there somewhere asking the basic questions about how to start from here.

I am glad, though, that the questions are finally starting to originate from my heart and not just my left brain spouting off blissful-sounding aphorisms. I want to live more from my heart and keep my left brain as a supporting partner instead of a dictator/suppressor. I want to learn how to nurture and enhance this intimacy in ways that elicit positive feelings in God's being and make His eyes light up with pleasure. Wow!

So here are some tentative questions that my heart has – and it doesn't want platitude answers from the other side of the divide (in my head that is)!

In a lover-type relationship, how or what could I do to make God light up with delight? I assume that's one of the most prominent things good lovers do for each other. (Sorry self, I'm exposing you in other areas by even asking the question and hope I don't catch too much flak for it) Honestly, I think that if God wants me to contribute something to our relationship not based on performance to get Him to love me then I would like to know how to do that. I need some serious mentoring here.

The next thing that blows my mind is that God would even think I am capable of bringing something to this relationship that could really have an influence on His feelings. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around that one, but I need to because that seems to be exactly what He is asking for. He seemed to specifically note that He wanted me to view Him in some way as an equal partner in making this relationship blossom and deepen. So what does that look like? How do I start from where I am right now?

As I asked Him a few minutes ago about some of this and wondered how I fit into this process I finally just had to say, “I trust You to show me how to do this”. At that point He responded, That's something that makes my heart light up with pleasure – when you trust Me. Hey, that feels good. I think we are starting to make sparks already. I know its a slow start and quite a way into my life, but its never too late to fall in love.

As I even contemplate posting this on my site I feel fear rising up inside of me. What assumptions will people make about me? What expectations will they have about me? I will feel trapped into some kind of claim to holiness or something like that and I won't be able to live up to it. Hey, where is all this coming from?

So I asked God, “Do you want me to allow others to read this and find out what we have been sharing in secret?” and He said, Isn't that what commitment looks like? Part of having an intimate relationship with someone is publicly being committed to the relationship and not keeping it hidden. Hidden relationships are usually illicit and demoralizing in nature. I want us to be open about our commitment to each other. I even exposed my own nakedness on the cross in my expression of love for You. Are you willing to commit openly to your heart desire to be in covenant with Me?

I feel vulnerable, but I am in covenant with the biggest protector that can be had. I will trust Him to protect my heart and help me learn how to interact with His heart as this deepens. I like this.

While my brain is eager to join in this conversation and come up with all sorts of ideas and suggestions, I have to insist that my heart must lead in this one and utilize my intellectual imagination as a partner and resource instead of a director. Thanks, but no thanks, left brain. Only my heart is big enough for eternity and has the ability to really resonate with the passion and thrills that God wants to share with me. I'm starting to look forward to more close encounters of the Divine kind.