This morning, chatting over coffee with a friend, I was asked this about another good friend:
"What's she like?
I set about describing her.
You'd think it would be an easy task, wouldn't you?
But I found myself floundering
She's um . . . um . . . well, she's gentle and compassionate
She's funny . . . and a good listener . . . umm . . .
It's not that I couldn't think of anything else to say
There was plenty
But even while I was talking, I was thinking, "This is so lame - it doesn't really capture her at all.
It's just a bunch of her characteristics.
They need to get to know each other"
It triggered a memory of a conversation (well, a monologue really) I had with my Maker some years ago
"God, I thought I loved Your Son but I realise I have only been admiring a bunch of His characteristics -
These things I knew about Jesus
And that's all very nice but it was all I had.
like second hand:
like my trying to tell my friend:
like head knowledge:
like listed facts
Admiration and praise is fine, that I knew
But remarkably, God longs for humanity's love
(ie mine too!)
And a relationship with a bunch of characteristics is impossible, however great they are.
There has to be a known person.
This was my quandary and I had no way to fix it.
"Lord, will You fix it for me?"
And somewhere, sometime, somehow, He did.
Christ "took on flesh" for me, in the sense that mysteriously, I came to know Him as a real Person
Unendingly lovable . . .
And the thing about Christianity being a relationship not a religion?
I got it.