Wholly Other

God never gets the blues. For him to be moody would imply that he is better at one moment than he is at another, and that would be heresy. “God, the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Yet, I wrestle regularly with a self-imposed inclination to gauge God’s goodness (or its opposite) according to the unreliable emotion (my own) of the moment, as if his character fluctuated like the Dow Jones. For lack of any better explanation as to why I insist on attempting to recreate God in my own image, I’m forced to admit that I do so when feeling powerless because I want a God who knows and is intimately involved, but when life unfolds the way I want, I prefer his mood to shift toward indifference. I seem to prefer a god who is little more than the elongated reflection of myself.

Father, break through my self-orientation and bend me to the wholly Other. Radically impose your heart and superimpose real faces on your will, but do not allow them to be my own. Open my eyes to recognize you at work in the man down the lane paralyzed by undefined fear, in my landlord who is overcoming lung cancer, in the man that I privately distrust at church, in our daughter’s foster child who is capturing my heart even though I swore not to allow it to happen, in the family members I desperately long to influence toward the Cross, in my wife who I pray detects in me something that resembles Jesus. Reproduce yourself in me so fully that I embody the hope of glory.

“to whom God was pleased to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27 RV1885)

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