Lenten Meditation (Day 32)

[The] ancient writers saw God as having a heart.

That feels.

That responds.

That hurts.

That fills with pain.

God…grieving.

And what is the source of this grieving?

People.

People God had made who have freedom.  Freedom to love anybody they want.  And freedom not to love anybody they want.  God takes this giant risk in creating and loving people, and in the process God’s heart is broken.

Again and again and again.

Divine heartbreak.

For some, this is an entirely new perspective on God.  Many of the popular images of God are of a warrior, a creator, a judge, a system of theology, a set of absolute truths, a father, the writer of an owner’s manual.

But a lover?

A lover whose heart has been crushed, and expresses it in…poetry?

This raises questions about what is at the base of the universe.  What, or maybe we should say who, is behind it all?

A set of beliefs, which you either believe or you don’t, and if you do, you’re in, if you don’t, you’re out?  A harsh judge and critic, who’s making a list and checking it all the time?…

The story the Bible tells is of a loving being who loves and who continues to love even when that love is not returned.  A God who refuses to override our freedom, who respects our power to decide whether to reciprocate, a God who lets us make the next move.
(Rob Bell.  Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality and Spirituality. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2007. 96-98)

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