by Ed Bacon
“Tenderness is the most foreign thing there is… God is too busy loving us to get around to disappointment.” — Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ
On the First Sunday of Advent, Fr. Greg Boyle blessed the Rector’s Forum at All Saints Church with an inspiring conversation about Ferguson, Mo. and the theology of kinship. The entire presentation is transformative, and I commend it to you on our YouTube Channel.
But toward the end of our conversation, Greg dropped the following Love Bomb that has been going off in my depths ever since:
“The thing I’m reflecting on a lot these days is the tenderness of God. If love is the answer, community is the context, then tenderness is the methodology — the delivery system. Tenderness is the most foreign thing there is and the most reflective of the kind of God we have. God is too busy loving us to get around to disappointment. I try not to ‘do disappointment’ because I know that God doesn’t.
Well, then you can say things like, ‘Surely God is disappointed in us for not solving hunger. Surely God is dismayed at us for having so many guns and folks willing to use them.’ I don’t believe that that’s true.
God is too busy loving to be disappointed. And the truth of that love and that tenderness is that God is not wagging God’s finger at us. The truth of that love is that love is helping us put our finger on it.
If the world knew and felt the tenderness of God then wouldn’t we naturally solve hunger, disarm ourselves, and include people. I think that’s the way it works. Otherwise we have a God who is shaking his head and rolling his eyes. What we have really is a God who loves us and who invites us to be tender with each other.”
May your Advent Season be rich with the tenderness of God as we prepare together for the coming of the One who is love incarnate.