There has been a honey sweetness dripped in today’s every hour. So much so that I kept postponing writing to you because whatever goodness He was lavishing I wanted to be able to share with you in full.
And now I realize that some of His presence and whispers were gifts of joy that should stay between He and I – but some are to be shouted big and loud, so shout I will!
Weeks ago it was already planned that this week would be spent with us discussing the Trinity together.
It’s difficult to explain the God we serve, one God and yet three? How do we argue with those who suggest we are polytheists? (A conversation for another day or over chai, happy to meet with you if you want to process out loud with a friend.)
Besides The Shack, where do we look to understand a relationship that exists solely with God alone? Why does He need to be a Father, a Son, and a Holy Spirit? And what in the world do those differences mean to my heart? My faith?
If you’re like me, you grew up Baptist. You like the Old Testament and you’re incredibly comfortable with the idea of a God who serves as Holy King, Judge, Warrior and Creator. You accepted Jesus as your Savior. You don’t know what to do with Him now, but you accepted His incredible miraculous salvation because that was the plan God set in motion. If you’re like me you saw a girl’s eyes roll back in her head during a pentecostal church service and decided you wanted to keep at least an arm’s distance from whatever Holy Spirit that caused that freakish dance seizure… well, if you were like teenage me.
And I get it.
But in the years since…
The Spirit has continually saved me from myself and this world’s brokenness. A saving I didn’t know I’d continually need since Jesus + His Dad took care of the one big “saving.”
Their fluid interchange, expression, presence, response…
It is maddeningly not of this world.
And while bits of the truth of our Triune God have settled like snow globe glitter, so much still gets shaken up. I have very few answers, but would love to share with you some of the questions and ideas that are a part of my faith.
Beauty only exists because God decided it should.
Color. Song. Love. Mountain. Ocean. Breeze. Lilac’s scent. Plum’s taste. Soft strawberry-blonde toddler curls.
The world could’ve functioned in black and white and gray.
But it doesn’t.
Because He invented beauty.
And it’s the same for relationship!
God decided with the creation of Eve that we wouldn’t do this world alone. And He saw that it was good. But how would we “do” relationship? What would we model the selflessness and intimacy that real relationship requires after? Certainly we could not be trusted in our brokenness and broken attempts to figure out the idea of community.
Oh our trustworthy God… from eternity past chose relationship at it’s purest and wholest as our model. He chose it for Himself.
There is no power struggle. There is clear identity and constant motion.
What if I could submit to humility because I knew I wasn’t weak? Because I knew that honoring someone above myself was just a way to show them the love they constantly cover me with? What if I moved to do good work for others without thought of my own ‘better plan’ because I believed that the plan I’d been asked to participate in was one of careful consideration and perfect planning, only meant for only good?
Inconvenience would be a word stricken from my vocabulary. Delight would take it’s place.
Fear wouldn’t exist. There wouldn’t be the slightest hint of trepidation in my steps towards another. Oh would I run! Run to the wounds, the arms, the need, the celebration!
Pride would dissolve to nothingness, because there wouldn’t be an inch of space in my brain or heart for self-worship. I’d be able to receive without wondering what I owe. And I would give with reckless abandon. Guilt replaced by freedom. Doubt wrecked by LOVE.
My tribe of beloveds offers shining rays of this kind of supernatural ebb and flow often, and it stands out starkly to how the world does relationship. Hope is offered when I’ve run out (oh to be able to function in a perfect model of trinitarian fellowship where hope is offered even though hope is already full!) and I find myself of late building altars to those rays and little glimpses of Him here on earth through the skin and selflessness of His other kids.
Today an almost-stranger gifted my spirit with kindness, my fellow Hopers gifted my season of life with practical and unexpected generosity. And as I sat in that blessing, my spirit felt buoyed to lean in and listen closely as to how I could bless another. And God spoke, and I took His words and handed them off and hopefully offered a gift to another heart.
Filling, emptying, giving, receiving, blessing, needing – ’round and ’round we go trying to ‘get it right’ but OH! on the days we do!
The intellectual exercise of untangling perichoresis (a Greek term used to describe the fellowship and relationship between each of the three persons of the Godhead) can tire even the most muscular theological mind, but for today… it was more than a definition or a brain puzzle.
God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit … they each showed up and they pointed the way towards sharing life in a beautiful balance.
Thank you God for deciding that relationship would be a part of You, and a part of Your plan for us.
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14