Be Free

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Resurrection Sunday 2010

In our clime, Spring does just that. It springs upon us! Pounces. One day the branches are bare and the ground is gray as old bones. A week later blossoms are everywhere and the trees (at least some of them) have leaves! Fauna and flora bask in the moist breezes and warming sun.

The trees at the top of this post are some of the very first to bloom: mountain laurel, redbud and tulip trees. May our celebration of new life long outlast these first bursts of joy at rebirth.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Infancy of an idea

God didn't start with babies. He began with adults. They were created already capable of comprehending His character; hearing His voice; following His directions; knowing His love. This ability to know Him without upbringing is divine.

In our Sunday school lesson last week we were studying the creation of Man. God created Man: male and female He created them.

I was suddenly accosted by an idea I had never entertained before. Those who know me best will tell you that I give huge parties to entertain ideas. If you have never attended one; consider this an invitation!

God created Man (male and female) as adults. They were fully grown (past puberty) and they (like most of the creatures they were naming) were told to procreate and fill the earth with others of their kind; in their case Man Kind.

God could have done things entirely differently. In fact, He did. There are examples, even in His creation, of alternative means of reproduction. There are organisms that simply divide; they make more of themselves from themselves. That seems efficient. And so simple! No conflict. No arguing over who is in charge. Then, there are creatures that reproduce asexually. Even occasionally, a critter is male and female in one body. So, it isn't actually essential that there be two separate "parents" to have "offspring". Perhaps the point of parents is nurture? Well, what about animals that hatch out of eggs or come out of cocoons and never know their parents: turtles, butterflies, fish, flies, spiders?

Wait, some spiders DO know their parents.

I think I'm getting a bit off topic here. So, populating the earth could have been done without a need for males and females that merge and then produce a baby which must be nurtured if it is to survive.

Why did He do it this way? Ahah! There's the rub! Ponder that. Pause to contemplate what existence would be like without babies. I'll give you a moment to get the wolf spider out of your mind.

Scroll on down. What aspects of our relationship with God would be lost if there were no babies?

What purpose DO babies serve?
I know, you will say they are cute and cuddly and irresistible, but that assessment, in itself is odd when you actually look at it. What makes them cute, cuddly and worthy of self-sacrifice? How do they earn our devotion and attention? Babies are actually the most selfish creatures in existence. Yet, just by being so utterly helpless, they twang at our heartstrings. Why is that? I'm not being silly here. We don't feel the same pull at our core when we see snakes or lizards or turtles or flies newly born.

You'll say that those are not humans; that it would be unnatural to be inclined to care for them. True, but puppies, kittens, bunnies, lambs...aren't human either, but they are still considered cuddly, cute and irresistible. Why lambs and kids, but not wasps or toads?

Creatures which come into this world helpless and totally dependent on their parents fulfill an ordained purpose just being born. Unlike Adam and Eve, we enter this existence clueless. So much of what we come to realize about God is explained, illustrated, experienced and passed along in the progression from birth to new birth.

As with God's faithfulness, maternal devotion preserves the relationship even when other commitments change. Children exemplify an ongoing plea for emotional comfort and security: the need for a safe haven.
Babies have to be shown where to go for nourishment. As do we, spiritually. They model total dependency.
They are given opportunities to learn to learn in the minute details, a task at a time.
In route, they are given hands on instruction in how to design things, build things, fix things...
They are emboldened to touch other lives; to share their existence; to seek companionship.
First physically, then mentally, then SPIRITUALLY...

They learn the importance of having SOMEONE at your back when you face the unknown.
SOMEONE to hold you up so you have a whole new perspective.
SOMEONE willing to get dirty to keep you clean.
SOMEONE to show you how to walk in step and when to follow.
SOMEONE who seemingly leaves you unattended, but is actually keeping a close eye on you at all times.
SOMEONE who allows you to make mistakes, knowing you'll end up wiser for the experience.
SOMEONE that shields you from predators.
SOMEONE who watches as you explore dimensions, heights, depths...

SOMEONE who cares who you reflect.
SOMEONE who shows you that you must be born again!
SOMEONE who celebrates when you grow up to begin the parental cycle again! Knowing His Love, knowing how to love as He does, we are ready to bring forth a child!
This is His way of revealing Himself to us. He came as a babe into our realm so that we could perceive Him as a parent!