Thursday, July 24, 2008

Abba: my refuge and my home

Loving the Father as a child

by George MacDonald

How terribly, then, have the theologians misrepresented God in the measure of the low and showy, not the lofty and simple humanities! Nearly all of them represent Him as a great king on a grand throne, thinking how grand He is, and making it the business of His being and the end of His universe to keep up His glory, wielding the bolts of a Jupiter against them that take His name in vain.

They would not admit such a statement, but follow out what they say and it amounts to this.

Brothers, have you found our king? There He is, kissing little children and saying they are like God. There He is at the table with the head of a fisherman lying on His bosom, and somewhat heavy at heart that even he, the beloved disciple, cannot understand Him well. The simplest peasant who loves his children and his sheep is – no, not a “truer,” for the other is false, but – a true type of our God beside the monstrosity of a monarch that the theologians present.

Who is our God? It is He who is ever uttering himself in the changeful profusions of nature. It is He who takes millions of years to form a soul that shall understand Him and be blessed. It is He who never needs to be, and never is, in haste. It is He who welcomes the simplest thought of truth or beauty as the return for the seed he has sown upon the old fallows of eternity. It is He who rejoices in the response of a faltering moment to the age-long cry of His wisdom in the streets.

He is the God of music, of painting, of building, the Lord of Hosts, the God of mountains and oceans. It is He whose laws go forth from one unseen point of wisdom, and thither return without an atom of loss. He is the God of history working in time unto Christianity.

And this is God is the God of little children! He alone can be perfectly, abandonedly simple and devoted.

The deepest, purest love of a woman has its well-spring in Him. Our longing desires can no more exhaust the fullness of the treasures of the Godhead than our imagination can touch their measure. Of Him not a thought, not a joy, not a hope of one of His creatures can pass unseen. And while one of them remains unsatisfied, He is not Lord over all.

Therefore, with angels and archangels, and with the spirits of the just made perfect, with the little children of the kingdom, yea, with the Lord himself, and for all them that know Him not, we praise and magnify and laud His name in itself, saying, Our Father.

We do not draw back because we are unworthy, nor even because we are hardhearted and care not for the good. For it is His childlikeness that makes Him our God and Father. The perfection of His relation to us swallows up all our imperfections, all our defects, all our evils. For our childhood is born of His fatherhood.

The person is perfect in faith who can come to God in the utter emptiness of feeling and desire, without a glow or an aspiration, with the weight of low thoughts, failures, neglects, and wandering forgetfulness, and say to Him, “Thou art my refuge, because thou art my home.”


George MacDonald, "The Child in the Midst," The Truth in Jesus: The Nature of Truth and How We Come to Know It, edited by Michael Phillips (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2006), 161-62

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