Try if you can to define love. Try to name all the reasons why you love that one special person above all others. Or try to describe the beauty of a sunset, a starlit night, or the miracle of a child’s birth. Try to describe the deepest joys or tragedies of your life. It is difficult to fully explain or understand love, or even the stories of our life. At most our descriptions and explanations can simply point to them. The facts may be accurate, but the most profound and meaningful things and events of our lives are beyond words and even understanding. We cannot explain them; we can only live them.
Try as we may, we do not meet God in our explanations, doctrines, or understanding. They are real but they are not the ultimate reality for which we search and long for. At their best they are pointers, signposts, and guides along the way; helping to make visible that which is invisible. So where then do we encounter God?
Jesus tells us today that there is much more he wants to tell us but that we cannot bear it right now. The mystery of God is too big, too wonderful, too wild to be understood, explained or contained. It is simply more than we can bear. The early church fathers tried to describe the unbearable truth of the Trinity as the Divine Dance of Love and held in the center of Their dance is the universe and you and me. In other words, we were created to participate in and share the life of the Trinity of love. It is part of our very DNA.
The psalmist today poetically describes for us that moment when we look into the night sky and behold the wonder of God and see the moon and stars in their courses, and we ask, “Who am I, Lord, in the vastness of all creation, that you are even aware of me, that you would seek me out?” It is that moment of sheer amazement, awe, and fear when we realize we are standing next to God, and it all becomes way too much, more than we could dare to imagine, unbearable for us to grasp.
The questions are always personal, of course but what is too much for us to grasp? What is beyond our comprehension? What pushes us to the limits of our belief and trust? What reality lies at the furthest edge of our wildest imagination? What is unbearable? Jesus is not holding anything back from us. He is inviting us to look deeper within, to dig deep, and discover that which is unbearable. That’s where the Spirit guides us into a truth about ourselves we never dreamed possible or expected to hear. That’s where the Spirit is revealing and making known all that Jesus has, all that the Father has.
If we want to enter into the life of the Trinity, we should look for what we cannot bear. Not the circumstances of life we might fear and want to avoid but that deep unimaginable reality that we hope and long for. Something within us knows it. It’s about who we really are, our existence, our very being. It’s about a deep personal presence of love, an intimacy that spills over and reveals itself as creativity, beauty, and joy.
The Divine Dance of Love cannot be controlled, tamed, or avoided. It is the same love and oneness that comes from looking into the face of another as that one looks into your face. It is experiencing our own wholeness, our “enoughness,” not by what we do, but because we are. It’s about being swept up into the life and love of the Trinity that can only be described as, “I am.”
When we have found in ourselves what is just too much, too big, too beautiful, too wild, to bear, we will have found the place where our life becomes one with God’s life. The life of the Trinity. If we open ourselves to that divine life, we will see that God is never more real, more present, than in that which we cannot bear.
s/t M. K. Marsh