I Am Held

We love to talk about our relationship with God. That’s usually great. Here’s where it’s stupid.

First is the insinuation that things need to be at some working equilibrium for interaction to ensue. I begin to realize that God doesn’t give a crap whether you think you’re in a relationship with Him.

He’s pursuing you anyways. I was in my room, minding my own business and downloading hip-hop loops from the internet when a version of Pie Jesu comes on my headphones. I began to weep. The Holy Spirit struck me, pierced my inner being, pulled my guts from my body, made them glow, and then put them back in. (Thats how I describe spiritual things, OK? Geez, read my previous post.) I wasn’t “opening my heart” to God, I wasn’t even thinking about Him. God…does…not…care. In the end, we really are very egotistical with this whole “relationship” thing. “I haven’t been maintaining a relationship with Jesus, so I haven’t felt His presence in a while.”  “Yeah, I’ve been a little tired lately, so the infinite God of all creation probably won’t be able to speak to me.” God’s up there saying, “Well I’m not now you jerk.” My point is not that we shouldn’t have a relationship with God. Let’s be clear, that’s the most important thing you can have. My point is that we should never limit our God to this relationship. He  is a Lover beyond all expectations. He can love you when you ignore Him, He can embrace you when you are running away, and when all your life is crashing down He’ll be there. Promise. After everything, after all the boxes and coffins we’ve tried to push our Lord into, He is still no tame lion.

Ambiguous phrases such as “I’m so close to God right now” or “I have a great relationship with God” aren’t so  pretentious as they manage to be confusing. First of all, it’s not as if God is moving closer and further away from us according to our feelings, a Divine Yo-Yo. God is not a high-school girlfriend. But neither does God remain stationary. He isn’t some massive planet that we gravitate around, helplessly watching us go about our orbits. “Oh, hey, there goes Marc, being a bad kid again. Dang. He’s so far away, too bad. I should go – naaaah. I’m God. I’ll just chill here and hope he makes it back.” No. Neither scenario is true. Here’s what is:

There is always contact.

No matter what you’re feeling, no matter what you’re going through, no matter whether you’ve had your coffee or not, whether you’re sober or drunk, sinning or shining in magical holy powder, God is with you. The only difference is whether we recognize this. And that’s what makes sinning so terrible, if I’m honest with myself. It’s not running away from the embrace of God, it’s stabbing Him while He embraces you. You and He are never distanced, for better or for worse, and even death will not do you apart. I am reminded of the Greek myth, the names and details of which escape me, in which a nymph, in the embrace of her lover, turns into fire, water, an octopus and all manner of things to shake him. But the Lover holds on until she stops. Myth is merely a great attempt at religion. He doesn’t let go of us when we sin. He doesn’t let go of us when we think we’re not in a relationship with Him. Listen to what He says, “I am with you. Even when you spurn me, hurt me, nail me to a cross; even then I adore you. Even when you do not love me, I love you. And it hurts terribly to do so.” The only difference in our lives – the only “relationship” that can change – is whether we have the courage to admit that we are held.

Whatever you thought of this post, realize that I compared God to a lover, a lion, a yo-yo, a girlfriend, a planet, and a Greek god. Um, win?

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