The Divine Romance (Part 1)
Before starting this post, be sure that you’ve read Adam Swensen’s latest post and my comment beneath it. We need your participation in this.
Sometimes I just let myself sit back and be awed by the majesty of God’s work in this world. This month, as many of you know, I’m taking part in NaNoWriMo. Surprisingly, I’m only about 3.5K off the necessary pace. I thought I would be a great deal further behind, and by all rights I should be and would be if it weren’t for the random bursts of creativity where I can get a thousand words or more down on the page in a half hour.
Anyways, because of all of this, I’m currently looking at everything in the terms of a story, and I have to say that I can find no better story than that of the Divine Romance. It is the template for millions of stories and still has great power.
In the first act, we see the great betrayal. The servant turns on his master. The son turns on his father. In this case creation turned on its Creator. Of course in this story the betrayal can’t be successful. One can’t challenge God and win. Instead, the betrayer reaps the natural consequences of his actions, and its something so simple but profound that it should bring us tears. The creation is separated from the Creator. It isn’t the Creator that is harmed by this but the creation.
If the story ended here, that would be enough. It would be the great tragedy. It would lead to millions of quests to rediscover that connection. It would be told over the campfires of the world into the dusk of eternity. Many Greek dramas end here, and we regard them as great. This story is greater still.
For God didn’t leave it up to the ambitious men of the world to try to design their own ways of attaining a connection with Him. He made them; he knew their limitations; he knew their finite minds. He knew that they could never comprehend what is truly necessary. He knew they could never know perfection.
So he showed them what perfection was. He engraved in a stone tablet his commandments, and He called one people to follow them, to be a light to the rest of the world, to show them the way to God.
They failed. How could it be any other way? How can the creation ever do enough to be worthy of the one that made it? This was the second act, a desperate struggle to earn back what was lost in the first.
If the story ended there, we would all look upon it and despair, for we would see that we had really lost forever the thing most important to us. We would always crave something we had never had and never could have. Still, it would be a good story, but it doesn’t end there.
This is a story of hope not despair.