Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
I do not get to visit my parents as often as I would like. One of the effects of only seeing them every so often is that I am able to notice subtle changes in them that have occurred gradually over the years. I am not talking about the ageing process; after all we are all growing older. I am thinking more about their relationship with each other as they enter their autumn years.
They have always shown love towards each other, but each time I see them they seem more and more at peace with each other. The little things that used to cause frustrations between them have almost become items of comfort in their lives. They know each other through and through and their love for each other reflects a maturity that only a half century spent together can bring. Anyone who has experienced this kind of love and companionship with another human being is blessed indeed.
Luckily however, those of us who have not or will never experience that special sacrament of God’s presence called marriage are not missing out entirely.
The Psalm which bridges our two readings today is a beautiful reflection on the intimacy experienced between us and our creator. The author of the psalm describes being fashioned by God as an experience of being known and understood in a way that could only take place between the Creator and his created
There is nothing we can do, nowhere we can go, nothing we can say that is not known by God. Long before the discovery of DNA and molecular biology this author knew intuitively that it was God who knit us together and fashioned us from the time of our conception. Indeed, as he puts it, “We are fearfully and wonderfully made”.
It takes time to understand the depths of God’s love for us. As a couple who are getting married have to come to know one another over the course of a lifetime, so too does our understanding of God’s love for us deepen and mature.
Part of this maturity is coming to realize that God’s love knows no bounds and it cannot be possessed. Young lovers grow jealous when they cannot possess their hearts desire but God’s love will not be constrained. In the Gospel Jesus says, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, pray for those who abuse you.”
This is one of the hardest parts of being a disciple, it goes against every human instinct. Even the psalmist in his reflection talks about hating his enemies and praying that God would destroy them. (You won’t hear that part in Church).
But we do not do it on our own. God’s love works through us and, over time, we find that our ways become like God’s ways. It is gradual, it is subtle, like a long married couple who have grown to be completely at peace in each others presence.
Spend some time in the quiet presence of God today.
Pray for someone who has hurt you.