“I’ve mentioned this several times before but Catholic theologian James Allison describes faith not as intellectually ascending to a set of theological propositions, but he describes faith as relaxing. Relaxing in the love and presence of God in the way we relax in the presence of someone we are certain is fond of us. When we are in the presence of someone we are certain is fond of us, we are funnier, more spontaneous, softer and less defended. If I know for sure someone likes and loves me there is no reason to pretend anything.” – Nadia Bolz Weber
Man, I love this.
I don’t typically choose to blog much on this topic in much detail, but this was too good to pass up. So many perceptions and declarations of God I see these days are so foreign and unapproachable to me. Some people seem to see God as this authoritative, angry, punitive force just waiting to punish us when we screw up (or punish others they’ve decided are sinners).
Still others seem to view God as an elusive presence that chooses to reveal itself sporadically. Then others just seem to be perpetually depressed, citing a steady stream of “do not despair” Bible verses that makes me wonder if they are trying to encourage others or convince themselves.
But then there’s the above Weber excerpt.
Translation: you are you and you are loved. And not by some being that judges from on high or teases with promises of a rare appearance if you seek hard enough. Good relationships are simply not designed to be that difficult – especially not the one we are certain loves us the most. We’re loved by someone who is always right there with us, just as we are. This is the God I know — the ever-present, unpretentious God who meets and embraces me where I am, with my schmuckiness and all.