comments about relationship

‘To experience God's relations to us—relations which come to be known within a concrete history of salvation—is to experience the very being of God as such. The religious mind has no real interest in a God who is one-sided, self-sufficient, and not "really related."’


this is particularly important when we think of the impassability of God. more specifically, a God whose being is relation and who not only is relationship within himself, but who chooses to freely relate himself in the context of Creator/Creation has made himself profoundly vulnerable in that relationship, because the very definition of relating means that one might be affected by that to which you are related.

indeed the person whose personhood might seem impaired to us may actually relate more readily than us to the God who has chosen to wed himself to all creatures. someone who is mentally ill, it might be suggested, has less defences through which to penetrate and God, who relates in a way that does not overwhelm or force against the will of the creature, may more easily encounter one such person.

this creature who is more vulnerable, perhaps not so much by their own volition, is formed by their encounters with the God who has chosen to make himself vulnerable to us, not only by the incarnation of his Son, but by choosing to relate to us in the relationship of Creator/Creation in the first place. in turn those who choose to be in relationship with these creatures experience something of what it means to be in relationship with this God who is relating to them in a distinctive way, particular to their vulnerabilities.

as such because God relates to each of us as particulars as well as by general revelations, if we choose relationship with another, we are opening ourselves to their experience of God. in other words we discover that the other can mediate something of God’s grace to us in a way that is specific and particular to their person. perhaps those whose vulnerability causes God in his grace to relate his own vulnerability to them in a very specific way, may be understood to have a particular ministry to those who are considered less vulnerable.

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