Monday, May 2, 2016

Peterson, Bono, Metaphors & Quantum Physics...

My mother's favorite things at family dinnertime is to go around the table and share what everyone is doing. It may produce an initial groan, awww, Grandma, do we have too? But as the years have gone by and our family spreads out and grows up, it's been a rich time of staying connected.

Last Sunday, I was blessed to get a basic lesson in quantum physics from my nephew that still has me pondering. I have no claim on uber intelligence. That's why I first loved his explanation--because I could understand it. He explained that our current computing world is bound in a binary expression of "ones or zeros"---sort of like an electric current exists as a positive or negative charge. The information either is there--a one, or it's not--a zero. My nephew tells me our world is reaching near capacity to store and use binary information. But thankfully in comes quantum physics, where there are ones, zeros, and a third factor--the point at which one looks at the ones and zeros--the point at which one examines the truth converges to determine the expression of it. He explained it using cats, TNT dynamite, and the point at which you look to see if the TNT blew up the cat, known as Schrodinger's Cat theory.

(My awesome nephews!)

Confused yet?  It's okay. There won't be a test.
I may have just flunked it anyway. #notaphysicist

But, the point that struck me is that God is not limited. Not by binary information, nor by quantum physics--which in themselves are pretty cool. Yet, it's not the thing itself that points to God that is amazing, but the God that the thing reflects. Our God is so infinitely ginormous--even bigger than the quadrillion possibilities in physics. I love that.

Stories. Songs. Lyrics. Quantum physics. 

All metaphors that point to God.

Eugene Peterson, author of The Jesus Way describes metaphor like this:

"Metaphor does that, makes me a participant in creating the meaning and entering into the action of the word. I can no longer understand the word by looking it up in the dictionary, for it is no longer just itself. It is alive and moving, inviting me to participate in the meaning. When the writers of scripture use metaphor, we get involved with God, whether we want to or not, sometimes whether we know it or not."

I can no more understand physics if I had looked them up in the dictionary, but somehow when my nephew explained it, it seemed like a metaphor for the unending, unlimited ways in which God reveals Himself to us.

There's something about letting our lives be honest before God that makes Him real. It's that point, like in quantum physics--the point at which you look for Him and to Him, the truth converges with our experiences. For a moment, I could imagine I understood it.

I loved this week's interview between Bono and Eugene Peterson as they talked about this and the Psalms. Take time to watch this:


And so...whether Psalm, romantic fiction, cats, art, song, story, food, home, or quantum physics--through these we can see Jesus.
God comes near.
Holy Spirit breathes on us and in us.
And we are transformed and not alone.
This is holy.

I love Eugene's words: "Imagination is a way to get INSIDE the truth."

This is why I write. Because I believe that even in imaginary stories, He comes, creates, and brings truth alive. Of course it's not the fiction itself that matters, nor the cat or TNT, nor the art or even the home--but the truth that is discovered there between you and God--that's what matters.

II Corinthians 3:16-18
Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.
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Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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Represented by Sarah Freese, WordServe Literary

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