I've been thinking a lot about God for the past year or so....about who He is, how we interact with Him, how we see Him, and how He sees us. These thoughts were spurred on by watching people around me, and seeing how so many people live life so differently. In particular, how so many Christians live and enact their faith differently day-to-day.
I love hearing people talk about how they see God, because they often see Him differently than I do....everyone has a unique perspective. Everyone I meet seems to love Him in a new way that I haven't seen before. It's like my brother and I - we both love our parents, but we show them in different ways, and we live out our relationships with them differently. I don't know what Ben would do if he was confined to showing love by grocery shopping with my Mom, and by cooking with my Dad.
Ben and I are in the same family, but our identities and roles in that family are different, and look different. We would never expect them to look the same, and to ask us to do that would be unreasonable and unrealistic.
In expressing our love differently for one another, we experience freedom. I am at liberty to love my family in the ways I do it best. I am at liberty to be myself within my family, and not try to be my brother, or anyone else, for that matter.
This does not mean that I should not sacrifice; freedom does not mean no limitations. The beauty of being at liberty to love is that it's a choice. My expression of that love is not limited by others or myself.
I am required to love; I have freedom in how I do it.
Love has variations, I have liberty in experiencing and expressing that love, and God is like a disco ball.
This is only metaphorically speaking, and this is just the way that my mind has tried to grasp a God that no one can explain, and few understand. In my feeble attempts to understand God, the best way that I can verbalize my thoughts is by describing a disco ball.
A disco ball is the same material all the way through in that it doesn't change. The material that it is made of is consistent. A disco ball is a disco ball is a disco ball. Just like God is God is God, and He never changes.
A disco ball also has many "faces." God has many characteristics. Loving, just, merciful, righteous anger, omnitience, sovereign, gracious, etc. The disco ball shows all of its faces all of the time. God, in the same way, exemplifies all of His characteristics all of the time. There is never a time when He is not something that He is. As humans, we are limited, and often love sometimes, show anger sometimes, mercy other times, etc. God, when He is loving me, is hating sin and the devil. When He showed mercy to us as sinners, He poured out His wrath and justice on Jesus at the cross. God is always everything that He is. He cannot not be God.
When I stand in front of a disco ball, I am limited in my vision, and can only see some of the faces directly on the disco ball. But I CAN see the effect that all of the faces of the disco ball have on the room (all the colors and spots, etc.). You may be standing on the other side of the room, and seeing different faces on the disco ball, but you see the effect on the room as well.
Everyone in the room will see different sides and faces of the disco ball, but we're not looking at different disco balls, just different aspects of it. Our different positions limit our vision and understanding. We all see it reflecting in the room, though, and then when we talk about our different sides that we see, we start to better understand how all the reflections are being made the way they are. We're sharing our pictures of the disco ball....or of God.
God's character allows for us to share our love at liberty, because He has so many different expressions of His character. His relationship to each of us is unique, so we should thrive in our variety of expressions of love.
Thrive in the liberty of love and disco :).