Monday, December 17, 2007

Without God, with God

Some months ago I read The Cocktail Party by T. S. Eliot, which tells the story of some people -- bright, intelligent, articulate -- stumbling through life without God as the Fountainhead of all else. And they keep missing each other, too, speaking past each other. With real insight, Eliot has one character say,

"What has happened has made me aware that I've always been alone. That one is always alone. Not simply the ending of one relationship, not even simply finding that it never existed -- but a revelation about my relationship with everybody. Do you know -- it no longer seems worth while to speak to anyone!"

Without God in our lives, it's not just that other relationships come and go. It's that we have no certainty that we are really relating to anyone. Without God, we have no reason not to suspect that all "relationships" are mental constructs of our own making, all of it dark and manipulative and fraudulent.

But with God, the Triune God who overflows with love and delight, we find ourselves living in the most "relational" world imaginable. He is real and for us through Christ. He makes us real and for one another. With him, our love for one another is real. We are actually stepping, however haltingly, into the very love of God himself.

This is what you and I see in one another's eyes. A wonder almost unspeakable.