I’m reading Holy the Firm for class this morning. It’s an unusually early morning for me, and I may finish the book by 8am, the time I’m usually just opening up my brain.
It was first published in 1977, which I can see in its language. And still one of the threads in it is one that… let’s say… has lately been roughed up and snagged so much that it’s showing up in many other spots in my world, in:
- an alternate reading of The Tower of Babel
- in a classmate’s sudden epiphany (that is, learning and life-knowing clicking together like newly-meshed gears) about the book of Acts, especially the Pentecost tale
- in each statement of hermeneutic (lens, perspective): here is where you stand as you see; here is where I stand, let me show you
- in a beloved professor’s words: “I think this is the next deep place for theological exploration.”
- in each component of my theopoetics class
We are struck by, investigating, resting in the particular. (No, not the peculiar, though that’s likely to be part of it. <winks>)
Today I wonder—
- we historically adore sameness. (For those practicing theology at home, yeah, I think here we can keep adore‘s worshiping overtones…) We have kept unity = uniformity at the front of our Church imagination, despite our protestations to the contrary. What is it about us that keeps dodging particularity?
- we seem to be increasingly hungry for difference… no, for particularity: the not-quite-same, the edges that don’t overlap. It feels to me like an uneasiness, mostly submerged. Further: Is the portrait of our faceted sameness that Big Data holds up driving this sense? That this twisted way of being known while remaining unknown has a wrongness to it, that due to its newness we’re not used to pushing on?
If each and all created things reflect the image of God,
If we humans as a genre of created-thing are especially in the image of God,
it seems to me that God may well be one (is One) but is in no way uniform. Unlike a gem, or a sugar cube, whose ‘self’ is wonderfully molecularly identical all the way down.
Surely God is not molecularly uniform, should God opt for or employ molecular expression. Should we humans serve as God’s molecules—or facsimiles of God’s molecules—we (imago Dei) make good case studies for the particularity of God’s molecules.
And still I can’t quite picture infinite.
I’m going to keep trying.