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‘Love designed especially for me’

‘Love designed especially for me’

To launch Alpha this term, we put on a free screening of The Shack, the novel-turned-movie that explores the nature of God in the midst of great suffering. The night was a great success, responding to some questions whilst provoking many more. Jayne - a long-time part of the St Luke's community - was there, and spends some time reflecting on it for us here.

Recently I’ve been struggling with how I can really experience the tangible love of Jesus. In my head I know He loves me, but in my heart I crave more than knowledge. I want something that is real for me; someone I can see or sense.

I was intrigued to see whether The Shack could offer me a new way to connect with Jesus. Would a living, breathing, visual representation help me to fall in love with Him?

When He appeared on screen, He somehow looked more human than I’d imagined. Whilst he was without doubt compelling, He didn’t seem as mystical as I’d expected.  I’m not sure if this was a disappointment or a comfort to me. On the one hand I could relate easily to Him, but on the other, I wanted to see something ‘other’; a picture of perfection and holiness. I guess we all have our ideas about how He might be, look and sound. We want to find ways we can identify with Him. That’s the tricky bit; we can identify with Him because He was human, but in some way, we can’t, because He was perfection.

As the film progressed this pre-occupation with my own judgments of how Jesus should be represented and what I was expecting of Him became less significant. What really hit me was the relationship between God the Father, God the Holy Spirit and God the Son.

By personifying the Trinity, the film helped me to see their relationship with one another and how inextricably linked they are. I realised that I don’t need to experience Jesus in isolation. Whether I think I might be able to relate more to Him as a human or not, He comes as part of a divine Trinity who communicate a vast array of ways I am loved.  I’m invited to be part of a divine Family. I can have an intimate relationship with all three and am deeply known by each.

I still want to fall more in love with Jesus, but perhaps now, I’m more aware of my need to be as equally intimate with Father and the Holy Spirit. Each of them show me love in a way that has been designed especially for me.