Tuesday, October 28, 2003

I just finished one of the best books I've ever read: The Sacred Romance. It has none of those preachy approaches to telling the story of God and man, it's not even religious in its tone (I mean this in the modern hollow sense which I really, really hate). Consider these words taken from the book:
The story that is the Sacred Romance begins not with God alone, the Author at his desk, but God in relationship, intimacy beyond our wildest imagination, heroic intimacy. The Trinity is at the center of the universe; perfect relationship is the heart of all reality. Think of your best moments of love or friendship or creative partnership, the best times with family or friends around the dinner table, your richest conversations, the acts of simple kindness that sometimes seem like the only things that make life worth living. Like the shimmer of sunlight on a lake, these are the reflections of the love that flows among the Trinity. We long for intimacy because we are made in the image of perfect intimacy. Still, what we don't have and may never have known is more often a more powerful reminder of what ought to be.

Our story begins with the hero in love. As Buechner reminds us, "God does not need the Creation in order to have something to love because within himself love happens."

And yet, what kind of love? There are selfish forms of love, relationships that create closed systems, impenetrable to outsiders. Real love creates a generous openness. Have you ever been so caught up in something that you just had to share it? When you are walking alone in the woods, something takes your breath away--a sunset, a waterfall, the simple song of a bird--and you think, If only my beloved were here. The best things in life were meant to be shared. That is why married lovers want to increase their joy by having children. And so it is with God. "Father," Jesus says, "I want those you gave me to be with me, right where I am. I want to be with me, right where I am. I want them to be one heart and mind with us" (John 17). Overflowing with the generosity that comes from the abundance of real love, he creates us to share in the joy of this heroic intimacy. One early mystic says we were created out of the laughter of the Trinity. (pp. 73-74; God The Ageless Romancer)

This is but part of the treasures written inside the pages of this wonderful book, something that bypasses the mind and speaks directly to your heart. Choice quotations from the book that left an lasting impression in me will still be copied and posted here in the coming days. I thoroughly enjoyed this book so much it was all I could do to read a few pages at a time to prevent an early end in my reading. I so much enjoyed this one that I'm thinking to give a few friends copies of this book for Christmas.

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