Saturday, January 9, 2016

Asking myself: How does God find us?

Q: How does God find us?

This the second half of this week's "Praying Ultimate Questions," a reflective prayer exercise from Teresa Blythe's informative and inspiring book, 50 Ways to Pray. I've committed to writing my thoughts on one of these deep questions each week of 2016. If you missed the first part of the question, and my response, click here.

The immediate answer that comes to mind as I listen to this question in my head is that God finds us lovely... and lovable. I'm interpreting the question to mean "How does God see us?" or "what does He think about us?" instead of a literal reading, because the idea of a God trying to locate us is like assuming God didn't actually know where Adam and Eve where hiding as He walked through the garden, calling their names in the cool of the day. I definitely believe God is omniscient of our whereabouts and that He could easily locate the original couple's physical coordinates as well as the metaphysical location of their fallen-fruit hearts. 

I back up my case with David, who says (roughly) in Psalm 39, "Search me O God... know my heart. Where can I go? How could I hide from You? I climb a mountain; You're there. I descend to the depths; You're there. You'll find me." Then there's New Testament imagery of God seeking and finding, straight outta Jesus' mouth. The woman searching for her one lost coin. Or the man finding the pearl of great worth. Or the shepherd leaving the 99 to find the one lost and bleating sheep. Yet none of these parables have traditionally (that I know of) been interpreted to indicate that God needs help locating us-- body or soul. He looks and finds. It is not dependent upon anything within our control.

So. Perhaps the question is getting more at our experience of "being found," which, again, I would interpret as being known, being lovingly approached in our honest, awful, raw condition. And still, being seen as lovely. Paul talks about wanting to be found in Christ. Would or could Christ admit us into Himself if He didn't see us through the eyes of love?

Like the way I love my 2-year-old, even when he has produced a big nasty stinky, the aura of which fills the house. He's even adorable in his stinkyness because he's my son. And you'll think me biased, but he's the cutest kid on the planet when he tries to hide his condition, "I not stinky!" 

God's biased like that. Maybe the only thing He is blind to is His own bias-- his own overwhelming, ingrained, uncontrollable, elemental, freakishly head-over-heels-nails-through-wrists love for humanity. His fallen, adorable, stinky children. The apples of his eye. You can't separate that love from Him. He is love. And because of Who He is, I think God finds us squarely in the heart of Jesus. We're found in Him.

So. Did I digress too far from the original question? How would you interpret the question and what would your answer be? And, in case you're wondering, the photo above is my equally adorable Eldest Son playing hide and seek, not my Stinky Son, who discovered him with squeals of delight shortly after I took the picture.

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