Well yesterday I had a few things I really wanted to write down but I was too tired and I figured I could remember them until I had a chance to record them. Unfortunately I think I figured wrong.
Ah yes, I remember. Well one of them was a concept that I heard from Barbara De Angelis (warning: links to a very fufu page) when I dropped into one of her seminars last week. Paraphrased, it is:
If I don't allow people to know the real me, then any love they give me is counterfeit and I will therefore never really experience it nor be truly filled by it.
Which means, if in fact I am portraying a certain image, no matter how much people love, respect, and care about me, I may not truly be available to receive it, and it would be my own responsibility to change that. Now, this isn't terribly revolutionary — I'm sure if I thought about this I could have come up with a similar perspective — I just have never really heard it phrased in a way that really made me want to examine the contrast between who I am and who people think I am.
That seminar, by the way, was pretty amazing, despite the fact that the majority of attendees were old, white women. When I walked up to the ticket booth the lady asked me, "Can I help you?" as if it wasn't already obvious that I was going to buy a ticket. She seemed pretty surprised that I was there, I guess. Anyway, I was most impressed with the Question and Answer time she had after her speech — she seemed remarkably perceptive in diagnosing relational issues in a very short amount of time. Throughout the seminar I was also impressed with this feeling of giving, empowering, and grace that she seemed to give off. Good stuff.
At any rate I left with the distinct desire to focus much more seriously on figuring out who I really am, what I really need and how I'm going to get it.
The other thought I have been mulling over now and then relates again to Christianity and evolution. I have been considering how evolution has really served to shape and perhaps even correct my concept of Christianity.
Consider our typical American Christian concept of God. If you start young enough, many of our ideas resemble an old man who wants people to do good and not bad. This is a useful illustration when we are too young to understand much else, but most adults are at a point where this preliminary characterization is simply not enough.
Another concept of God that I think is pretty popular in our culture is that of being chosen by God, or somehow special in His eyes. This is an idea I have really given a lot of thought to before (wow, almost a year ago!). In my mind, I cannot reconcile the idea that God loves all people equally and yet at the same time considers me (or anyone else, for that matter, besides Jesus) special or chosen. Either you love all those around you equally, or there are some you love more than others. I don't think it can be both. It makes sense that we would try to fit God's idea of love into the mold of our reality of humanistic love — after all, no human being can honestly say they love all mankind equally.
That conflict troubled me for a long time, and so I find myself revising my understanding of God and His love. It is not something that fits our human understanding of love, it must be bigger than that. Strangely enough, this bigger concept of love feels to people (myself included) to be a colder, less romantic kind of love — that God loves all people equally and wishes for all to be saved. And it that sense, I think it seems to resemble evolution (or maybe, natural selection).
Well I've written about as much as I coherently can for now...to be continued.