Monday, September 15, 2008

Is God the Unavailable Man?

I know this emotional habit of mine: seeking the unavailable man. Over the years I have been attracted to men who are married, depressed, workaholics, or who are just emotionally very distant. I have a kind of Velcro for that kind of man and lots of therapy and 12 step recovery has helped. I know where I got this habit. My father was quiet, frightened of life, worked many hours and traveled. I longed for him as a kid and so have sought these unavailable men and tried to either change or win them. That insight isn’t new.

But today in my prayer time I had this thought: Do I also make God an unavailable man? I’m working with a spiritual director now and she encourages me to talk to God about my relationship with him. So when I pray I also say, “I’m not sure you hear me” and “I’m asking for your help and I wonder if you are avoiding me.”

I heard myself. The Unavailable man Velcro is showing up here too. I think God is a distant man who has to be won, coaxed, cajoled, enticed or bargained with. I have been assuming I have to please him and that he is cold with a short attention span.

What if I am wrong about God? Could I really change this relationship? Could I learn to seek the available God in the way that I have slowly—so slowly learned to seek the available man?

What would an available, emotionally resonant God look like? sound like and feel like?

What would it be like to have a warm, caring, available, listening and responding God in my life? What would be different if I lived assuming that is true?

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