Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Brief Interlude of Family Blogging

I follow two basic categories of blogs: 1) family blogs and 2) idea blogs. While I deeply enjoy both this blog falls firmly into the latter category. But my creative energy this week did not go into a written piece. It went into a person.[1] The Imago Dei, the image of God[2], seems to be the key to human uniqueness. It is a complex sort of idea that has a number of layers. In my opinion, central to what make us the image bearers of God, is our ability to co-create…to be conduits of beauty and truth. But the more basic act of co-creation…the making of a new person, a new conduit of co-created justice, truth and beauty, is pretty remarkable too. Here is my family which I adore:

This first picture is of Charis greeting her new sister Aletheia. Charis is the New Testament word for 'grace'. Aletheia is the New Testament word for 'truth'. The names were selected to go together. According to John’s gospel, ‘grace and truth’ were two of the primary things God wanted to communicate to us through the incarnation:

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth… For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:13&17

One of my earliest posts was about my great surprise at loving parenthood. Amanda and I lingered in the newlywed stage for 9.5 wonderful years…and I would not trade them...but I could not have predicted how much I would love being a dad. My brother has been talking recently about the insufficiency of our prediction apparatus for guiding us to actual joy and happiness. Obedience[3] is often much more efficacious at producing the life experiences that were designed to nourish our souls.

People told me that the college years were the best of my life. I refused to believe them. They were wrong. I have found each life stage to bring more intense sadnesses and joys. These are, without doubt, the best days of my life…until the next ones.

More pictures here.

[1] And my wife put in way more energy than I did. But still, if this post is barely coherent, I’d like to take a sleep depravation mulligan.
[2] The Bible says that human are special because we were created in the ‘image of God.’ Almost no one believes that this refers to the physical image, but many suggestions have been advanced regarding what divine characteristic we exhibit that constitutes this image.
[3] Obedience is a pretty good description of our motivational impulse to have children. Neither of us particularly wanted them. The vast majority of our premarital counseling consisted of Mark Machia trying to talk us into wanting kids. But we finally came to a place where we believed that parenthood was the normative outworking of Christian marriage…and, thus, our responsibility. (We might be the least sentimental people I know). Neither of us thought 'wanting kids' was a good reason to bring them into this world. We had to be able to tell them why they exist. I can now tell them, confidently, 'God wanted you and asked us to take care of you for a while.'

This post was prepare while listenting to: The Pennywise Pandora Station


Bronwyn said...

I debated for a long time as to whether I wanted a family blog or an ideas blog, and in the end I opted for a "coffee blog" - i.e. the things I would be talking about on any given day if I went out for coffee with a friend. So ideas and family anecdotes are all fair game.

Lovely to see pics (and hear ideas) of your beautiful family of 4. We too are rather unsentimental people and actually altered our wedding vows to exclude mentioning children as the "primary purpose" of marriage. We subsequently became theologically convicted of the place of children in marriage (yeah Christopher Ash's book "Marriage" which we cannot commend highly enough for the theological paradigm shift it brought about)... and we too can relate to the serendipitous "blessings of obedience" experience.

Congratulations again to you all :-)

You with us said...

I think you did a fine job of keeping your post about family pithy.

I LOVE your beautiful family. You all look so peaceful. Charis seems to be quite the doting big sister. Aletheia is precious. I love her cheeks.

Thank you for posting pictures and please give your girls my love.

Joel said...

You all look terribly happy.

nic gibson said...

Lewis' book Perelandra is the best exploration of seeking happiness and maturity in obedience instead of stolen autonomy and inappropriate independence.

stanford said...

Funny...I just finished Perelandra last week and am working on a post on it.