A few days ago I wrote about a pattern I noticed with emotional disconnects. This is a follow-up to that pair of blogs.
It is quite clear that this pattern was widespread but not universal. Some people simply were untouched by the shift. We don’t have clear language for what the criteria were that caused or allowed someone to be unilaterally included by God in this group, but it was quite unambiguous who was part of this process and who was not.
It seems that we have come out the other side and again, there is a pattern. It is pretty uniform and solid. The shift seemed to have happened two days ago, i.e. Monday the 29th, give or take a little.
The picture I have is of the relationship between a mom and her baby in the womb. During the pregnancy, there should be deep intimacy. That intimacy is rather savagely fractured during the birth process. I just don’t hear of mothers spending too much emotional energy thinking about how their pushing might be causing distress to the baby. Nor do I think the babies spend much time worrying about what they are doing to mom.
The emotional separation caused by the ruthlessness of the birth process is formalized with the cutting of the cord. There is no going back. You don’t reconnect the cord and babies don’t go back into the hopper for another season. There is a finality to the season in the womb.
Then, after the birth, there is reconnection, but it is different. The baby and mom are in a different place, and nursing replaces the cord, sound is different, etc. There is a complex process of learning about each other on an increasingly deeper level. It takes time and experimentation to figure out how to position oneself with this old/new relationship.
We see some parallels in the reports from the field the last few days.
-The desire for intimacy in the inner circle is back. In fact, some are reporting that the craving for physical and emotional intimacy is much stronger than before. This is a knife that cuts both ways. Those who have a circle they were close to before the emotional disconnect that happened back in early August simply go back to that set of relationships with deeper sweetness. Those who are single or in a relationship but emotionally isolated, find this craving to be maddening because there is no outlet for it.
-The middle cluster of previous relationships are being re-evaluated and each one is being repositioned so the relationship is based more on reality. So many relationships emerge rather randomly over time, but now people who have come through this season are suddenly seeing the codependency and other unhealthy features of their relationships and are reconnecting based on new social contracts.
-And on the outer periphery of the relationships cluster, there are some who are suddenly being treated with a hard edge, which is not the same as harshness. Simply put, as we emerge into this new chapter, there seems to be little tolerance for the people in denial and those who resist growth. The attitude I am seeing emerge is simply an uncompromising commitment to show no mercy to someone who has broadly and deeply squandered mercy in the past.
Against that backdrop of widespread repositioning in the human relationships, something else appeared which I think is related.
I have received a number of REMARKABLE e-mails about encounters with God in the last four days. While each one is unique, there is a pattern.
First, the results are disproportionate to the triggers. God uses some small thing and does a huge work inside. Sometimes He brings up a brand new issue. Sometimes He revisits something that we were sure was quite done. Regardless, there is a God-initiated visitation of significant proportions, almost always done in isolation, not through any planned ministry situation.
Second, the work done seems to be very close to the core of our essence. While there is a token problem that is addressed, that playing field seems almost irrelevant. At the end of the process, it is not that we are free or healed, it is that we are different.
Third, it seems as though it is more about God putting something of Him in us, more than the removal of junk or the healing of a sore spot.
Fourth, it seems to be part of positioning us to walk out a portion of our life that we have seen for a long time but have never been able to get traction on up until now.
Those things were obvious. But when I circled back around and double checked, it became obvious that central to the whole experience was a change in our intimacy with God. And I use the word change carefully. It is not just more of what we have experienced already. It seems as though we can connect with God in a different key of music, on different terms, in a manner we have not experienced before – in a different quadrant.
So that caused me to reword the whole equation.
I think this might have been the sequence.
-God took us into a place of isolation from Him and man.
-He removed something during that time, but more importantly He added a piece of His nature in us that is an interesting blend of truth and love.
-We are now able to love Him and others more, but it is a stern love, one grounded in reality and strongly opposed to being part of the corporate maintenance of a dysfunctional community.
-As a result of our new connection to Him and our emerging adjustment of community, we can move toward a door that is opened.
This will be worth watching. I wonder what it is all about!
One peripheral note: some of us are new people, while many of those around us did not go through that sequence. It creates an interesting puzzle as we seek to redefine and recreate a relationship with other people who are mystified at what happened to the person they knew so well and they are confused as to why the social contract is suddenly being unilaterally rewritten!!!
Copyright August 2011 by Arthur Burk
From the Quarterdeck, in Anaheim