Friday, November 04, 2005

Reading The Mind Of The Maker

I used to think that God sort of had to create us because He is love. It never occurred to me that this could be heretical, although I did wonder from time to time why I hadn't heard anyone say it before.

The idea was that the love and fellowship of the Triune God was so perfect and powerful that it inevitably sparked the flames of humanity. And as the story played out the Fire-starter was indeed warmed by what He'd made, but got burned by it as well, and ended up throwing His body on the fire to save it from ravaging the forest and ultimately consuming itself.

This is all fairly biblical and actually quite poetic if you think about it, but there's one problem:
And that is that a perfect three-in-one God of love would have been just fine on His own.

Just because God thought of us did not mean he had to create us. By definition, God does not have to do anything. At least not for us.

So I gave up on my idea of the inevitability of our creation for awhile, but was reminded of it again when I read Dorothy Sayers' The Mind of the Maker, where she writes:
"To say that God depends on his creation as a poet depends on his written poem is an abuse of metaphor: the poet does nothing of the sort. To write the poem (or, of course, to give it material form in speech or song), is an act of love towards the poet's own imaginative act and towards his fellow beings."

That got me thinking. I mean, I really do think the Maker could have said, "Let's not make humans in our image, male and female, because many of them will only destroy themselves by their own free will. Even though we mean for them to use that will to love, let's not do it, because they are bound to hurt themselves, and, if we let them, they are bound to hurt us."

Seriously, I still think God never owed us anything. Not even existence. God had love around without us, and could have left it at that. He didn't have to make us. He didn't have to do that for us.

But maybe He loved the idea of making us so much that whenever that idea came to Him on the timeline of timelessness the Triune God simply had to do it. Not so much for us, but for Himself. Maybe God just decided it was worth it to Him. Maybe God was willing to get hurt in order that He might know us, and give us the opportunity to know Him. And as far as we're concerned, maybe love didn't force His creative hand (after all, true love never does that), but that doesn't mean it didn't compel Him.

And so this whole train of thought has left me with the sense that God's love is a powerful thing, and God is a beautiful poet. As a matter of fact, as I think about it, it occurs to me that not a single sonnet would ever have been written or enjoyed if not for that first and most beautiful of poems, when the Maker said:
"Let there be."

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