No. One Fan

I had the chance to go to a really fun concert this weekend and one of the performers said something that got me wondering about whether or not God experiences gratefulness.  Who, pray-tell, was the lyrical genius who made such an eloquent statement that I began to reflect on God in the middle of a packed stadium?  It was Donnie from New Kids on the Block.  I’ll pause while you laugh….

All done?  ha ha!  Well, I don’t know that it was so much that he is a lyrical genius or said something terribly eloquent, but thought provoking (for me at least) it was.  He said that so many fans have been thanking them for reuniting so we can relive our giddy teenage years and see them perform again.  And like any gracious person would do, he said no, that he wanted to thank the fans for such a warm welcome and the opportunity to perform again.  To which Joey, my fave NKOTB member, said that there is nothing like hearing your songs on the radio or seeing people enjoy what you’ve worked so hard on.  And he said that he wouldn’t be a singer without an audience.  Sort of in that philosophical sense of the audience being an essential part of him being who he is (as a performer).  As Rebecca St James stated in her song, Without You, “Like a king without a country, that’s me without you, it ain’t never gonna feel right”.  Even in my job, I feel complete because of it, but wouldnt’ have that feeling without patients to minister to right? Tom Cruise made big bucks from that phrase, “you complete me”, but could that be applied to God?

I frequently imagine and name God as Creator and find a lot of meaning in the belief that we know much about God because of God’s creations here on earth, just as I would know much about an artist (creator) by seeing their creation.  And I feel closer to God because of God’s creation.  I am sure God would be God without us, but would God be Father, would God be Creator?  And so do we complete God?  Well, that probably is where I lean into the land of heresy because in my head this recording goes off: God is perfect and anything less than complete would be imperfect so that can’t be.  But it still makes me wonder.  God delights in us, that is for sure.  Is there more?  Does God need us?  Do we fulfill God somehow, like a child fulfills someone meant to be a parent?  Just because I have that recording in my brain, no doubt due to drilled in teachings from my education, it doesn’t seem to answer the question for me.  That’s the problem sometimes (at least for me)-the rational reasons or logic puzzles don’t always give me fulfilling reasons or answers.  I imagine that’s because we’re more than just head, we were created as much more.  Thank God, even if it does cause confusion!

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About Lauren Ivory

Lauren Ivory is a hospital chaplain working on Chicago's diverse north side. After receiving her Master of Divinity degree at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, MO she went on for further hospital ministry training at the Cleveland Clinic of Ohio. On the side, she enjoys helping couples plan wedding/commitment ceremonies and works with couples as a certified premarital guidance counselor.

4 thoughts on “No. One Fan

  1. I think that even if tiptoeing around heresy (don’t we all!), you have pointed out one of the greatest questions of humanity. Why did God create us? God did not need to create, for God was fully God and fully complete without creating, but like a teacher who wouldn’t be a teacher unless students learn, God wouldn’t be creator without creation. I don’t have an answer to your question, for you, Lauren, ask a lot of questions that don’t have answers, but I will tell you that I did not laugh when you mentioned going to see the New Kids on the Block…a part of me was just plain jealous. Joey was my favorite too…I even had his action figure! I wonder what happened to it????

  2. So, would God be God if God weren’t Creator? Oh my. I don’t know if I like having questions that don’t have answers!

    And, I too have the Joey action figure somewhere! You should have seen some of the concert goers all decked out in their nkotb stuff, complete with their action figures in their purses sometimes. whoa!

  3. I’m not sure it even makes sense to ask what God would be if God weren’t Creator, any more than it makes sense to ask “Who would you you be if you weren’t you?” God can’t be anything that isn’t Creator because that wouldn’t be God.

    So to expand on what Becky said: “God wouldn’t be creator without creation” … well, here’s where I think language is just a little bit inadequate for explaining the nature of God … I wouldn’t say that “we complete God” so much as we are inextricably connected to the reality of God.

    So — is that sufficiently perplexing, or shall I go on?

  4. I like that Josh! We are inextricably connected to the reality of God. Really good languaging because I was uncomfortable with the ‘we complete God’ idea. Might God still experience gratefulness then? I have NO idea. But I agree, how could God be God without being Creator? It just doesn’t seem possible.

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