And so am I! That's right. I am a waste and because God is God, a glorious waste at that. It seems I've been in this moment for a while. That is to say that I am learning to begin with and keep thinking in terms of God's continuing presence with us as more informative than any other truth of our lives of largely bad soil.
This in the vein of my previous attempts to appreciate Paul Tillich's description of God as the ground of being. There is a depth in that claim that we miss with some many other descriptions of who God is. For sure it suffers the same limitation that all human descriptions of God suffer. The concept is caught up in the term analogia entis. That is to say our descriptions of God are not to be confused with God.
Another of Tillich's colleagues, the inimitable Karl Barth pushed back against this notion.
His take was that in the revelation of God in the person, life, death and resurrection of Jesus we were given the language capable of fully expressing who God is. Barth termed it the analogia fidei. That is to say that by faith God bestows the necessary language for us to know and express who God is.
Tillich and Barth don't really disagree here. Both credit God with closing the gap. Both would rely on language that identifies God as with us. Both would understand Jesus as the means by which God speaks the language of faith through us. Just like Paul says for us this Sunday, July 23:
When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ-- if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:15b-17, NRSV)For me the marvel is that we are glorious recipients of God's extravagant love and grounding presence. Even bad soil has God as the ground of being. Even bad soil can cry, "Abba, Father!"
This means so much in our day-to-day lives. Bad soil cannot save itself but because of who God is we can say we're sorry and call on God who loves all soil, who sets things right and wastes his Glory on us.
God is the ground of our being. God is with us. God makes love possible. With God's presence all our promises can still be kept. With God's presence we can learn and grow and bear fruit. With God's presence our broken relationships can be restored again.
God does not wait but casts his love on all soil and God keeps on loving us. Results may vary -- sounds like a warning label -- but really that just means we are different and yet still just as beloved of God.
So much is possible even though there be weeds among the wheat. There are possibilities on so many levels because God is with us!