“Many mystics speak of the God-experience as simultaneously falling into an abyss and being grounded.” writes Richard Rohr. This sounds like a contradiction, a paradox, but in fact, when you allow yourself the freedom to fall into the abyss, i.e. hiddenness, limitlessness, unknowability, a void without boundaries, you discover it is somehow rich, supportive, embracing and wild. You’re being held up by God in untamed territory.
“The spiritual life cannot be made suburban,” said Howard Macey. “It is always frontier and we who live in it must accept and even rejoice that it remains untamed.” This might be the ultimate paradox of the God-experience: “Falling into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:31, NKJV). This mystery is at the heart of the universe.
God is not a theology. God is not a formula. Jesus tells us to pray, “Our Father…” He is inviting us into a relationship with Abba, our heavenly and earthly dad. Jesus continues by saying, “My friends, don’t be afraid.” He is calling us into an intimate relationship, a deepening friendship with a living God.
Archbishop Anthony Bloom writes, “The realm of God is dangerous.” This is Creator God who made lions, sharks and rattlesnakes and said it was all “good.” This is the Father who created thunderstorms, lightening, and hurricanes. This the One who gave us the frozen and frightening North and South Pole.
When you lend yourself to God and quit fighting and trying to explain it, falling into the abyss, ironically you experience calm and grounding. This is totally counterintuitive. Your dualistic, logical mind can’t get you there. Only the heart can get you there. This just might be why there is more written about the heart than any other one thing in the Bible.
Knowing God intimately is untamed territory. Mystery is not something you can’t know. Mystery is endless know-ability. Knowing God is loving God and loving is always from the heart into the untamed.
From the heart,
Steve Holt D.D. MA