Saturday, November 3, 2018

For Parents/Spouses Only

I write this post with the knowledge that some will think I've over-anthropomorphized God. This is not inaccurate, I suppose, but I do have one preemptive point in my defense: truth is not one statement, but a paradox: two equally intense and equally opposing viewpoints. The truth of God's impassibility is not lost on me, especially as an Eastern Christian. But, without posts like this, the truth is incomplete. I present this as the other half of the truth.
This is a stand-in for your baby.

God sees you the way you see these people. Except a heck of a lot more.

That means that every time your poor little kid falls over and you flinch, but find it cute because it's really not the end of the world, God does that too. Every time your child screams about not being given a cookie and you wish you could give it to them but frankly the cookie's bad for them and so you have to say no but it's not the end of the world . The baby may think so, but you know better. You have perspective. So it is with suffering.

Wait, you thought any number of horrors you experienced were different than a child falling over and hitting their head?

The only difference between the cookie and your trauma is the amount of time it takes to recover from it, because you, the adult have actualized more of your potential and therefore there's more to damage. That is, in fact, the only difference. The principle is the same, especially when it comes to God's view of us.

Stand-in for your spouse
God knows you far, far more deeply than your spouse ever will. Each and every little tick of your face and body is loved. Your entirety is known, seen, acknowledged, thought about, and loved. That desire you feel for your spouse? The emptiness that yearns for the light inside of your spouse? Yeah, that isn't there. There is no need, just appreciation, pure and simple. It's not filled with the physical urges that, if not fulfilled, sour and must be wrestled with. There is no moment where that sourness turns to just plain old lust, because there is no need. The realization that you made at some point where it doesn't matter if your spouse is wearing clothes or not, their body was never the point? That was never a realization. All that has always been there, and for more than you could ever imagine.

All those times where your spouse has done something dumb and you found yourself angry at them, because you love them and how dare they squander that love so easily over something so trite? I have unfortunate news for you: your love isn't very great. Without God's love your love is nothing and so is theirs. God's love does not break down. The frustration we feel with our spouses is natural, God feels it too, far more often than you do. Why? We can't see into our spouse's minds, and thank God! We're incapable of going that far.

But God's able to go where you can't. Yet.

Oh yes, marriage is eternal. You are with that person, in all eternity. Come the Judgment you will be able to finally love that person as God intended you to. This is all a warm-up. All of this life is. The new Heavens and Earth is a resurrected one. Nothing goes anywhere. So marriage sure doesn't either. But we're just getting warmed up here.

All of this is practice. And family helps us understand what it is that God wants, when we do the real thing.

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