Intimacy is a charged word. Just having it as the title of this blog will get me hundreds of spam comments and false hits. It has been usurped by the sex trade. And yet, it’s the essence of a true relationship, an authentic kinship, a life-changing connection. The Voice translation says it best:
But if someone responds to and obeys His word, then God’s love has truly taken root and filled him. This is how we know we are in an intimate relationship with Him . . . [I John 2:5]
Now let me add my own tweaks to this verse: But IF I respond to and obey His word [the Christ], then God’s love has truly taken root and filled me. This is how I know I am in an intimate relationship with God.
Intimacy implies detailed knowledge of one another. It’s a given that the Spirit (living within me) has detailed knowledge of me. In fact, I’m pretty sure Spirit Christ knows me better than I know myself. But is it reciprocal? Do I know God? Of course not. I can only know what I am open to know. I can only know what is revealed through God’s actions and the Christ who walked the Earth to show us what God looks like in the flesh.
Here is God: follow me. That was Jesus’s message from the beginning, to each disciple: follow. Live the paradox. Love your enemies, go the second mile, love others as you love yourself, be devoted to God. Enter intimacy.
I am not a good friend. Not really.
I protect my heart from most people. Trust is slow. Betrayal feared.
But love requires an open heart, as does intimacy. One cannot come without the other and vice versa. Otherwise, they are both conditional.
My unconscious messages: I will love you if you don’t hurt me. I will expose my true self to you if you prove you are trustworthy. I would rather you not know me.
To have intimacy with God, I must practice with Human, for that is all we really have to work with. Except for pets. They’re easy. They already have the unconditional love part down pat. I am grateful for those small learnings over the years, at the least.
Come Lord Jesus. Teach this girl again. Open my heart. Give me courage to believe that my open heart will be protected in the shadow of your wings.