In HOPE

  In HOPE 6.9                                  back to home                        David Timms

Ministry Resource

Have you seen George Barna's latest book - Revolution (Tyndale House, 2005)? At 140 small pages it is one of his shortest books but he makes some big predictions about the emerging shape of the church. Barna identifies a quiet but decisive revolution involving tens of thousands of people who are leaving established church structures and embracing a range of alternative "faith communities." Church leaders will want to consider the findings!  

 Hope Happenings

Today has been Discover Hope day here on campus. Over 225 people have attended campus and participated in classes, the chapel service, lunch, and special events. It's been a day of high energy and buzz, and we look forward to many of our guests becoming partners in learning with us.

 

Hope International University
Fullerton, CA 92831

 

Just as words lose their power when they are not born out of silence, so openness loses its meaning when there is no ability to be closed."
(Henri Nouwen)


Not So Close!

Our quest for intimacy in relationships is often linked to complete transparency. We falsely assume that if we know each other completely, in every detail, we'll be close. However, the old adage that familiarity breeds contempt may prove more accurate and biblical than it first appears.

Only a false form of honesty suggests that nothing should remain hidden and everything should be said, expressed, and communicated between two people. Ironically, however, this kind of total unreservedness produces not intimacy but emptiness and boredom.

Relationships thrive on mystery. Something new and unexpected piques our interest, attentiveness, and desire. Perhaps many marriages hit the doldrums precisely because the mystery and creativity dissipates. Knowledge may be nice, but non-knowledge proves more alluring. In fact, our insistence on complete vulnerability may have more to do with control than intimacy. We can control what we know.

I'm not advocating secrecy surrounding sin or a blunt refusal to connect with people. But somewhere between complete exposure and utter non-communication lies a creative and intimacy-inducing center.

God Himself, who desires union with us, remains delightfully unknowable and definitely uncontrollable. We can trust His love and grace. We don't fear that He is hypocritical - claiming to be one thing, but secretly being another. Nevertheless, He remains intriguingly and wonderfully mysterious. The joy of our walk with Him lies in the unexpected: something He does without announcement; His presence surprising us when we least expect it.

Intimacy flourishes with every new and surprising discovery of each other.

We join accountability groups where we covenant to tell all and be utterly candid. Or we may desire a friendship to be characterized by total transparency. But our deepest purpose is thwarted by our false assumptions. We desire intimacy but end up with mere familiarity because we fail to value the charming (and intended) mystery of the unknown.

Those of us who are married can recall the excitement and unquenchable thirst we had for our spouse before we married. We wanted as much time as possible with this new person precisely because of the mystery associated with them. But as mystery and creativity fades so does intimacy.

The same principle bears true in our spiritual journey. The richness of our walk with Christ does not depend on "figuring Him out" or having Him describe and explain everything He thinks, feels, or does. We will find depth and intimacy in the process of discovery. What's He up to today?

In HOPE that we will rediscover the joy of mystery in each other and in Him.

David

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David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board of the institution. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.

For back issues of In HOPE, see http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/