Blog # 428 God, People, Freedom, Love
People around the world come in different shades of color in a variety of distinctive shapes and sizes. Yet there is something consistently the same about us wherever we are. We make different sounds in a wide variety of languages to signify the same realities of bread, water, hope, anger, loneliness, enmity, and love. In spite of our many differences there is something the same about us that makes us all one.
The critical truth that makes us all one is the fact we all come into existence through the will of a single Creator, the one true God. After this most basic fact about us is realized the differences we experience are minor. The differences are real, yes, but are far less consequential than the truth that makes us one.
What I have just stated is the dream, the ideal, the map, design, goal, plan, or whatever you might like to say in order to indicate the work and will of the Creator of us all. And yet in the human limitations that are ours and in the gift of our freedom, that dream and ideal is not what we have yet worked out among us.
We remain unaware of one another, apart from one another, strangers, competitors, sometimes enemies. This is true of folks who live in nursing homes, villages, cities, families, and nations. As a result of our failure to discover, understand and follow the design of God that invites us to be one in God, we often stand alone, argue rather than discuss, compete rather than cooperate, fail to trust one another, and make war rather than build peace.
We are present in the book of Genesis as we are in our daily newspapers. And our Creator is present to us now as He was present to our first parents in the beautiful garden in which He had created them. Now as then water freezes, fire burns, the stars shine, the earth moves around the sun, men and women are gifted with the gift of freedom. The Creator seems merely to be watching from a distance rather than from within all that exists.
It almost seems as though God, in giving us freedom, has given us humans less rather than more than creatures on a level of existence lower than ours. The rest of creation follows the Creator's plan without fail. For us it is sometimes yes and sometimes no. The rest of creation is never ashamed embarrassed or guilty because of its behavior. This is regularly the case with us.
Truly, however, it is a fallacy to think the gift of freedom is anything less than the greatest natural gift we have as human creatures. It is only when it is abused or left unused that freedom is the occasion of our being ashamed embarrassed or guilty. It is a dividing line between ourselves and the rest of creation. It is what the Creator 'saw' when the first work of creation was done. The Creator looked upon it all and said the work of creating human reflections of His wisdom and goodness gifted with freedom was very good. (Gen. 1: 31).
Fire water air and earth are all expressions of the Creator's love. For them this is not done in freedom. We are gifted with the ability to make it ours by choice. This choice of ours is made possible through the gift of freedom. We are called to discover God and respond to our discovery in freedom.. Through freedom we open our hearts to those around us and form a community of hearts. Through freedom we live out our Baptismal commitment united in Jesus in our daily experience of the gift of life as branches on a single vine and members of the Church in unconditional trust and total obedient love for our Creator.