The “Experiencing God” course by Henry Blackaby helped me understand that, at its heart, the Christian faith was primarily about a relationship, a love relationship with God.
“The Practice of the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence helped me to see how this relationship with God could be fostered practically in the humdrum heart of everyday life.
C.S. Lewis helped me get a handle on so many of the more mysterious aspects of the Christian faith through his brilliant use of allegory and metaphor.
Brennan Manning helped me to see that a heart-felt conviction of the deep reality of God’s accepting love for me – just as I am in all my weakness, mess and failure – is the only true source, and means of sustaining, a Christian life.
All of these are clear examples of times when some ungraspable mystery of Christian faith was made accessibly simple.
Which sounds like a paradox, how can unfathomable mystery possibly be comprehended?
Well, for me the analogy of art and poetry are helpful.
A portrait may not be an exact representation of someone, but it may nonetheless tell us something “true” about the person.
A poem may not communicate a total, comprehensive understanding of an experience, but it can help us to feel something “true” about the experience nonetheless.
Much, if not most, of the spiritual writing that has been of benefit in my life has fallen into this category – pictures and poems.
Pictures and poems that somehow have helped me grasp, seize, reach towards, some of the deep, imponderable mysteries concerning God, his love and his activity in the world of men.
Pictures and poems that have helped.