One of the temptations that I have fallen into over the course of my crawl with God, and my walk with friends, is the temptation of seeing them as objects, either to be studied, used or discarded. Especially with God, as his personal presence is not always evident, I find myself engaging him mechanically, like I would engage my computer, or my car. “Okay”, I think to myself, “I’m needing a boost in this particular area of my life, so I think I’ll add a dose of God’s love to send me on my way, worry free, running good.”

Particularly when it comes to theological reflection, and my penchant for strong axioms, I find myself thinking that it is my brains – or lack of brains more specifically – that keeps me from diving deeper into the unveiled light of His glory. Come to think of it, doesn’t the study of God assume Him to be an object? I mean, I don’t study my wife. I contemplate her. I watch her actions, her reactions, her likes, dislikes, moods, comforts, discomforts and I take them in like food; but that is far removed from study, at least as I understand the idea of “study.” All my appraisals of her come in process, in time, as I talk with her, as I move with her, as I watch her with her friends, hear her talk about her day, as I hear her history. I don’t view her from afar; I’m able to view her because she’s let me into her life … because she’s married me. And I wonder if it’s not the same with God … if my understanding of Him should be the result of me being in process with His presence, with his history, with his friends. And I wonder if me being allowed into His life is more dependent upon my heart than my brains … if the greatest theologian is just the closest person to Jesus.

I’m comfortable with my set of propositions about God. I’m comfortable because it makes me feel like I somehow have grasped God. That I’ve somehow caught Him and can now, because I know how He works, can somehow, like my dog, manipulate His performance. I’m comfortable with absolute ideas. After all, ideas aren’t sensitive to my sins. They don’t look at me, but I look at them. I judge them; I, if I’m smart enough, can even control them.

It’s scary to move Truth outside of the category of “idea” and out of the category of “object” and into the category of “person.” It’s scary to think that Truth is wild. To some degree, or to some quality, it is like my relationship with my wife. I don’t own her, yet I’m a part of her and what I do with myself … whether I look at porn or I flirt with other women … greatly influences her life. My life is tied into her and so is, with God as person, my life intimately tied into the very heart of God.

It’s too easy for me to want to view God as an object because it’s too scary to think otherwise.

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