Nobody’s mind is powerful enough to grasp who God is, we can only experience him through love.—The Cloud of Unknowing
Books are funny things. Sometimes I buy one and it sits lonely on the shelf, waiting for me to begin the journey. Once in a while an author impacts the way I live, and inspires me to try something new. This book, The Cloud of Unknowing, challenges me to sit each morning on the back deck attempting to focus my thoughts solely on God.
Why is it I cannot seem to quiet my mind for fifteen minutes? Seconds click slowly away, and I wonder if my time will ever end. Because I have things to do and think about.
My mind wanders, and I yank it back like a pup pulling on a leash. Focus, Stacy, focus! By all contemplation standards I am failing. I tell her this in our session. The one who walks with me on this spiritual journey smiles because she’s heard it before.
So… I try again. Only this time in an attempt to stall my wayward thoughts I read,
Oh, that he would kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!
For your love is more delightful than wine.
The fragrance of your perfume is intoxicating;
your name is perfume poured out.
No wonder young women adore you.
Take me with you—let us hurry.
Oh, that the king would bring me to his chambers.
We will rejoice and be glad for you;
we will praise your love more than wine.-Song of Solomon
I ponder the words of King Solomon, and at the same time wonder how in the world these words can be found smack dab in the middle of the Bible. They seem scandalous, like a paperback romance novel you can’t put down. A little too personal for an entire religion if you ask me.
Why? Why are romance and intimacy so important you find them tucked in the pages of scripture? I want God to show me, but like the unknown author said my mind alone isn’t powerful enough to grasp who God is.
Is it true God? Is love the only way to experience you? The ONLY way? And if so… what does it look like?
I glance out over the green field and see them. She rarely lifts her head from chewing tender shoots of grass. The baby is another story. It plays, nibbles, sniffs the donkey. He wanders a bit too far and she looks up to check on him. She makes no sound, but somehow he knows to return to her protection. He nudges her side and begins to nurse. And I realize a love story is unfolding in the pasture.
I’m not sure if you can call what cattle do love. Most would call it instinct. A God given trait animals have to care for their young… to nurture them, protect them. It’s hardwired in them for the saving of a species.
Hmmmm… my mind wanders. Maybe, just maybe every living creature is hardwired for love. Maybe this is what the author of my book meant, and what Solomon understood.
Too often I box God into the confines of what my mind can grasp, my limited imagination. It’s easier. It keeps things from getting too personal… too intimate. After all shouldn’t we be able to say what we believe and why we believe it? Shouldn’t we base our theology on logic and reason? Don’t we need to leave the emotion out of it?
It seems silly to think about that calf trying to figure out his mama’s love through logic or reason. Even absurd to imagine him depending on his limited mind to grasp how her love keeps him safe and nourished.
I guess its a bit silly for me too. Constantly trying think love instead of experiencing it. Truth is I’m hardwired to seek Him. Like the calf I may wander off at times, or stick my nose into trouble, but God’s still standing there.
My juvenile mishaps don’t change the Presence.
Instead, they draw me closer to the One who never once thought love because He is love.