I had always felt life first as a story – and if there is a story there is a story teller
– G.K. Chesterton
Much that once was is lost. For none now live who remember it
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning
– John 1:1-2
We believe it all begins with “Friendship” and “Companionship”. Before anything ever was, the Eternal Ones enjoyed and existed for each other. And in the midst of that joy, we were created. Created, not just to be robots but, for us to be friends and companions with God. It does seem to be hard to grasp onto, but nevertheless, that is where life and we as a human race came from. And regardless of what you have come to believe about God based on your life experience, the truth is that when God thinks of you, love swells in His heart and a smile comes to His face. God bursts with love for people. And even though much has gone tragically wrong with life and relationships, it is His love that brings it all back together. When God thinks of us he feels a deep longing, not just for our wholeness as people, but also, in a very deep and mysterious way, for our friendship. And it’s through His love and grace that we begin to experience that friendship.
If you ask most people what they believe about God, most will have a great deal to say. However, if you were to ask that same group of people what they know about God from direct personal experience, well, most will have much less to say. A.W. Tozer once said that most of us who call ourselves Christians do so on the basis of belief more than experience. “Knowledge by acquaintance,” Tozer affirms, “is always better than mere knowledge by description.” And being friends with God is more than simply knowing certain things about Him. Love must be encountered!! Encountering Love is more than joining or attending a church. It is more than looking like we have it all together or living up to someone else’s standards of being good people. It is so much MORE!! It is more than knowing the right things about a person. It is more than gathering all the facts together.
It involves a relationship; it involves the heart!
And once that encounter happens . . . everything changes . . . not all at once, -it may seem - but something has changed at our very core. Something within us has been born anew it seems. And slowly, as we relax around this Perfect Love, we see the things that used to hold us back and down begin to loosen their grip on our hearts. Fear, Shame, Guilt, Control or Pressure give way to a New Way of having a friendship with God and others. We are different . . . we are clean . . . we have different identities from the old labels that we have pursued or others have slapped on us . . . a new willingness to offer this same safeness that we have experienced begins to emerge . . . and we find a different power that enables it to happen. We are no longer so preoccupied with how bad we are or others are and exhausted from trying to manage or change it all.
We find that we are – FREE!
Friendship, Grace, Transformation . . . these are the themes that rest at our center.