This was initially a comment on Mike Duran‘s blog. It gets at some things I keep meaning to say, so I figured I may as well pull it into my universe as well. If you read Mike’s blog, forgive me for the little clip show. 🙂
I’m coming to this discussion very late because my week last week was filled with the hobgoblins of reality. I don’t know that there is much of note for me to add other than the one little word I cling to.
The essence of mystery is the acceptance of things you cannot know.
My dogs teach me daily about Scripture and life within the framework God has set for us on this earth; it helps to think of myself as the beloved pet and God as the master. When I put them in the crate to run errands I see myself as tucking them away safely and going about the things that need doing. I exist all the time and am most often getting a little something I don’t need just to bring them a treat because I love them. Then I come home, put the groceries away and let them out of the crate to run in the yard. When they come in I give them the new chew toys I bought on the trip.
But the dogs only see me putting them in the crate. Then nothing. What I do away from the house is a complete mystery to them. It involves things like “money” and “debit cards” and gasoline and knowing the difference between the brake and accelator. Green means go. Red means stop. All of these are laws of the functioning in the universe that a human knows. They are as real as the rain is wet.
To a dog they mean absolutely nothing. What does a dog know of money or traffic lights?
What do I know of those vast reaches beyond my understanding where God operates to keep me safe, to keep things working as they should, to bring me small treats from time to time?
I come back and the dogs sniff my clothes to try to figure out where I’ve been. The clothes have the scent of the world, but not the whole truth of it. They may get some ideas, but they can never know because their brains JUST DON’T HAVE THE CAPACITY. And I know they don’t stop loving me just because they sniff my clothes. They just have questions. Their questions don’t make me stop being. They don’t make my love for them any less true. I just know they’re trying to work stuff out in their minds.
So God is like that, I guess: beyond the capacity of our minds. And our questions–important to us, compelling and insistent–might help us piece together where God is and what God has been doing. But they’ll never reveal the whole truth, and they’ll never get God to stop loving us.