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Posts Tagged ‘infinity’

omnipotence

Art by Neon Rauschen

Conceptually, I can’t really wrap my head around omnipotence, infinity, or the universe. And not just because of the vastness, although that plays a part, but mostly because the idea is so very non-human. We are bound by many sets of limitations whether self-imposed or a product of our very nature. We are encased in skin and held up by a skeleton of bones and we are locked in time. Both of these parameters keep us out of the God realms.

 Job answered the Eternal One.
 Job: I know You can do everything;
        nothing You do can be foiled or frustrated.
You asked,
        “Who is this that conceals counsel with empty words void of knowledge?”
    And now I see that I spoke of—but did not comprehend—
        great wonders that are beyond me. I didn’t know. [Job 42:1-3, The Voice]

I didn’t know, Job says. And I say, he couldn’t know. We’ll never know, not while we’re walking the earth.

Oh, we’ll get glimpses of truth, snippets of the secret knowledge, flashes of insight even. But the “why” is not for us to understand. I am reminded of a Corrie Ten Boom story when she was a little girl on a trip with her father and she wanted to carry one of the pieces of luggage and her father denied her. It would be too heavy for her.

And so it is with omnipotence: the ability to see through time and space and change, the beginnings and the ends.

For this reason, we are asked to trust in God, the Eternal One, the Omniscient. It’s the old iced tea commercial, where we are asked to fall backward into the water, without looking. It’s the more recent cliche of choosing to be “all in.”

I am still not there. I don’t understand my own reticence. Somewhere along the way of my life, I have learned skepticism and fear of being fooled or deluded. I continue to test the waters first, walking in slowly, just in case there are surprises underneath, ready to nibble my toes and ankles. I do not plunge.

But I will. I know that too. I’m not sure what that will look like yet, but I am certain that I will have my Job revelation too. And in that day, in the same way that “The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part” [Job 42:12a], so I will experience saturation in omnipotence.

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St. John is obsessed with love and its power. But to speak of it in today’s world sounds trite and cliche. Love has been relegated to movies and teenagers. Do people really believe love is a power so strong, so rich, that it can change a life, a culture, a world, a civilization? Or is it just a Valentine?

I John 4:12
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

I don’t really feel qualified to write about this topic at length, mostly because of my own anemic love life, and by that, I mean loving the unlovable, the unlovely.

It’s not that I don’t believe God is in the love of family, friends, and loved ones, but I have a sense that loving in the hard places, the paradoxical times, the nontraditional people, the unexpected situations: this is where God manifests more profoundly. These would be the occasions I might actually experience the same God who loved me when I was deeply entrenched in life-killing habits (drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, and the like). That love turned me around. That love upended my perceptions. That love was conscious and real, almost tangible. It was one of the reasons I committed my life to becoming a follower of the Christ: I saw God by being loved unconditionally.

For whom can I do the same? Why am I so afraid? There was so much grace in being on the receiving end and yet, it has become so difficult to get out of my safety net and love others the same way, without judgment, without expectations, without strings attached.

Our current church has a lot of buzz phrases, some more meaningful than others, but without a doubt, the one that resonates the most with me is that we offer love and service to others “with no strings attached.” I know that our pastor, Jess Bousa, pulled this mandate out of his own experiences, out of the God-love that was given to him when he least deserved it. The church, Good Cause Foundation, the open door policy he has established, are all an outgrowth of seeing God and thereby showing God through himself. Jess got it and he’s one of the reasons I’m hanging around this young pastor, I want to catch the fever.

It’s all simple: love others if I want to see God. And as I see God, I will want to love others. Infinity. Circle. Mandala. Synergism.

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