On God’s Ground Floor
Thoughts on the Second Readings by J. Frankenfield
13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
2 Corinthians 8:7,9,13-15
Parents and teachers of small children have taught me something important: they move in their children’s plane when they talk with them – even on the floor, if that’s where the kids are. They make their actions fit their children’s world, their voices fit their ears.
At first I thought this demeaned the children but watching more closely I saw that it was deeply respectful of them. It acknowledged to the children that something good and important was going on in the world they inhabited. It was worth the adult’s energy, even discomfort, to enter their realm, their experience, their play, their conversation.
Seeing these adults meeting children helped me view God’s becoming human differently. The point isn’t that humans are so hopelessly offensive to God that they must be cleaned up and made presentable. It’s not that God has to come to us because only he can give us the bath we need. God wants a relationship with us and that can’t happen if God and we stay in different realms, whether they’re rooted in fact or simply in the limitations of our perception.
God knows our goodness and the beauty of our world because He is creating both. He wants us to know that he’s part of our lives and destiny. God wants us to know him as he is: loving, totally committed to our welfare, reliable and guiding our progress by his Spirit in our hopes and visions.
We always face the danger of creating a god in our image, with our limitations, restricted vision, prejudices and narrow interests. By getting down with us God made real changes in our lives. We are less likely to create a god like ourselves because of the powerful person of Jesus. We are less likely to believe that we have to wrench life from others to secure our own because of Jesus. We are more likely to believe in the future because of Jesus. We are free of the fear that we must please some awesome external force because of Jesus. Life is different for us.
As inexplicable as it is, God loves us, respects us, is happy with us and longs for our happiness. God is on the floor with us.