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Fearfully and Wonderfully made

I love people. Or . . . certain people. I don't think I'm the kind of person to like the idea of a "person" for itself, though perhaps I ought to. I love specific persons.


I know that in order to really love people, I have to love God first, and more. I can't have an idol of a human being, or human beings, in the way. Sometimes I really feel like I love God, but a lot of times I don't. Often I want to love God just so I can love people, or I did. Now that it comes to the point, what this post is about feels so simple and obvious that I may sound like a fool for being so excited about it, but I will write it anyway.

I've felt so much like I love people, and loving God has to come first . . . but that's a difficulty, an obstacle. But, I see now! I cannot say I love people just because, I love them for their personalities, and their interests, and their dedications and passions, and a myriad of other things, because all of these things are part of who the people are. I believe there is an essence to a person, but we cannot simply love that essence, and that essence is wrapped in all the details of a person, and perhaps even mingles in them. I cannot love someone for themselves, as in something other than what they do and say and think, because all of that is part of who they are. I love them for the things that I think are beautiful, good, and true about them.

But if anything is beautiful, good, or true about them it is because God put it there! Because he put into them a picture of himself, an expression of his mind.

"God created me -not out of nothing, as say the unwise -but out of his own endless glory." (Lilith, George MacDonald)
So if I love these people, it is because of how God made them, as beautiful, good, true people. How can I say that "loving God first" is hard? How can I put people before Him if he made them, and if I think they are wonderful, how much more wonderful is He? The best of them are at best a description of Him, dimly, how much more lovely is the "thing itself"? And my ability to love people comes from the fact that I am made by Him as well! Everything that makes me want to love people, and everything that makes me able to love them comes from Him!

I say "I love C. S. Lewis" when I have not met C. S. Lewis and never will, but I have read many of his books, and his books show me partly who he is, and what he thinks, feels, and believes. While some might say it is technically correct to say "I love C. S. Lewis' books" I would disagree. I see a reflection, a part of C. S. Lewis, and though (Like God) I cannot see him now, I can still love him, and appreciate who he is.

I think what has made it truly hard for me to love God more than I love people is that I have not seen God in the same way that I have seen people. The great irony is that people are the best reflection of God that we have, and what makes me want to love them so much is how God-like they may appear to us in their loveliness.

I don't know how to end this post now. that block quote thing is really spiffy. And I feel like that comment is too lighthearted for how seriously I feel about what I'm saying.

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2 comments:

Art said...

It is good to hear the truth even when I can't articulate how it changes me.

This post took me from New Jersey all the way back to North Carolina, to night and grass and mystery, unspoken understanding and anguished aching to know and feel.

I still don't get what it means to love people.

But, I can say that you bring me joy and I am thankful for you saying what. you. mean. so I can see God's glory better.

Kaitlyn said...

I know I won't say this as eloquently as Rebecca, but:

I really like this post.

I have nothing philosophical or profound to say.

Thank you for sharing, Michael.