The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. Genesis 6:6
We can bring God joy, and we can bring him sadness and pain. It’s pretty amazing when you consider the fact that we have this kind of power. We can, in our own words, make or mess up God’s day.
I recently had a spiritual mentor tell me to spend some time ministering to the Lord. At first that sounded a bit ostentatious, that I could minister to Him, as if He needed anything. Well, it’s true, He doesn’t need anything, but still He made us to reach out to Him and perhaps find Him. To do so, He would have had to make Himself vulnerable to the process He created.
Sometimes I wonder if God didn’t purposely create a need in Himself for us when He made us, thus making Him open to both the pain and the joy of a relationship. When God saw that it wasn’t good for Adam to be alone could that not have mirrored His own aloneness? In Eve, He gave both Adam and Himself a bride – one that through sin and rebellion would cause Him great joy and great pain.
When working on my first novel (Saint Ben) it was this very idea that provided the grist for the story when I discovered what happens when you take the Pascalian idea of a God-shaped vacuum in every human heart and turn it around. That’s when I came up with a Ben-shaped hole in the heart of God, just the size to fit Ben Beamering’s ornery, non-conforming self.
In watching the play last night, Freud’s Last Session, a hypothetical conversation between an angry, atheistic, sick and dying Sigmund Freud and a young, passionate newly converted C.S. Lewis, the God-shaped vacuum in both their hearts and their conversation was plainly evident. But you also can’t walk away from this riveting performance without a sense that God must have a big hole in His heart in the shape of both of these men whether they found out about it or not.
[God] is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)