Within the worship-language of the Christian community at large, especially the lyrics of many contemporary Christian songs, I’ve noticed a consistent pattern. I’ve observed that emphasis is routinely placed, not just on God’s unearnable grace, but on His perfect holiness, and on His impressive glory — that His strength is almighty, that He shines brighter than a thousand suns, and so forth.
Maybe it’s my autism, but to me, statements like these represent just the plain and simple truth which, while important to remember, is not directly experienced in this life–except perhaps by a divinely-select few. Yes, God is light, and He is holy, holy, holy, which is very good news for us. Yes, I will be overwhelmed by His holiness and brightness when I finally meet Him in heaven one day. Yes, God is all powerful, which also tells me that all power belongs to Him. And yes, I do find that His all-mightiness brings me feelings of comfort and security.
But for me, these are all foundational truths, locked in from the very beginning — baby food. It’s like listening to doctors continually emphasize the amazing fact that we hear sound through our ears. “Okay. Yeah. It is amazing. I can see that. I got that in kindergarten. So, now what?”
Because these standard confessions of glory-amazement seem to have become such a repeated routine, I now suspect that they are what is being used as the unspoken, yet universally understood, contemporary proof of one’s genuine Christianness — as though you’re not truly on board as a Christian today unless you are observed to be appropriately and continually awed by these basic truths.
If this is indeed the case, then I find that this disingenuous awe disturbs my spirit greatly. It feels like just another Christian public-badge. But I humbly admit, I could be wrong. What if this constant awe is somehow genuine? Then, why do I not feel it too?
Perhaps I’m not as continually awed simply because my current, autistic perspective of God is firmly and comfortably rooted in the concept of infinity. God said that with Him all things are possible, (Matthew 19:26) and that He can do infinitely more than we can ever imagine. (Ephesians 3:20) This tells me that every aspect of God is infinite, not just in a linear scope, but in dimensions beyond my ability to comprehend; He isn’t just a God beyond my wildest dreams. He is so far beyond my wildest dreams, that His beyond-ness is beyond my wildest dreams.
So, while it is impressive that God parted the Red Sea, I find His creation of this infinite, physical universe to be vastly more impressive. And even then, I suspect that in God’s spiritual house, this universe is merely our playpen located somewhere within Jesus’ room. I can’t even imagine what God’s other rooms might contain. It boggles the mind.
So you see, however big we imagine God to be, we are guaranteed to come up short, and that for me is also just one more plain and simple truth — more foundational baby food.
But God doesn’t want us to stop at simply reminding ourselves about His greatness repeatedly in thought or song. Our Father yearns for us to move forward into the hardy meat of relationship; for each to experience Him in the most intimate way, for He is Love, Itself, in all Its richness and variety, and He freely, humbly offers us His whole heart to reach out and touch. If only we would, for then we would feel the truth of His tender mercy for us in every beat and be forever, permanently changed.
Though comforting, being repeatedly reminded that my Creator is all knowing, seeing, light, power and holiness, is not what brings me to my knees.