Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Not Quite Perichoresis

The concept of perichoresis has always been one of my favorite ways of understanding the relationship of the members of the Trinity to each other--mutual indwelling. Or, as a favorite theology professor put it, the dance in which all the members of the Trinity participate and into which we are invited.

As a lover of dance, and as someone who danced both modern and jazz for over a decade of her life, I am enamored with the idea that God has invited me into a dance--and , like any good partner, God responds and reciprocates as we trust each other in our lifts and leaps. Without words we can know when we should bend, when we should accept each other's weight, when we should provide counter balance and when we should collapse into the floor. And, in each other's arms we find a wholeness that was somehow missing before we assumed the dance. We are greater in the dance than we are when we stand alone around the perimeter of the dance floor (which makes me think of Victor Turner's language of the "field").

This relationship of mutuality is akin to that which I aspire to with my spouse and now our child. Trust. Mutual reliance. A whole greater than the parts. And definition's of self that are grounded in, but not chained to, each other. The dance, the relationship, liberates me in the midst of a grounded life. It allows me to embrace our mutual dependence as an aspect of freedom. And as the baby cries to be nursed, yet again, I ponder who he will make me as we grow together (in faith and love).

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