“STILL UNWRITTEN” (Jn 3:16-18): 18 May 2008 (The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity)

“STILL UNWRITTEN” (Jn 3:16-18): 18 May 2008 (The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity)

Today’s Readings

A friend sent me a clip of Natasha Bedingfield singing her 2006 hit, “Unwritten,” and I immediately liked the song and its message.  The song is about self-discovery, and it’s full of excitement about the adventures that lie ahead, but also at the same time full of defiance.   The song Bedingfield sings exhorts us to refuse to let anyone else define us or live our lives for us.

I was listening to the song a while ago when, as it sometimes happens, an absolutely radical thought occurred to me.  The song clearly applies to us and our search for identity, but can it also apply to God?  When you think about it, the words of the song may well apply to the Blessed Trinity.

In his book, Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius of Loyola suggests that we pray by imagining the Divine Persons of the Blessed Trinity gazing at all of humanity, moved by our need for salvation, and discussing among themselves their plan for God to become human.  After sending all the prophets, most of whom were unheeded and even killed, God decides to become human and do the work himself to save us.  But the Incarnation is much more than God working for our salvation.  More basic than that, it is God’s effort to get a firsthand experience of what it’s like to be human because he wants to become truly one of us.

In that light, it isn’t difficult to conceive of these words as part of the imagined discussion within the Blessed Trinity:

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins

The lines of the second verse also apply in an amazing way:

I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We’ve been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can’t live that way

It has been written that the “God of the philosophers”–i.e., God as deduced by Aristotle and company–is so perfect that he doesn’t change.  To change is, for the philosophers, a sign of imperfection.  But the God of the Christians–the God who became human in Jesus–apparently has a different idea.    Our God as revealed by the Lord changes:  Inserting himself into time, he became human and today in the Blessed Trinity, remains human. He “broke tradition,” and his tries are certainly “outside the lines.”

More:  In a very real sense, our God’s book remains unwritten–or more precisely, it hasn’t been completely written. In fact, God wants us to co-author his book. So perish any thought of predestination! God has given us the gift of freedom, and grants us the possibility of writing with him the rest of salvation history.  “The rest,” as the song goes, “is still unwritten.”

How do these unconventional and even disturbing thoughts about God make you feel?  Think about them today, the Feast of the Blessed Trinity, and who knows?  Maybe they’ll lead you to a deeper appreciation of this great, incomprehensible mystery about our Triune God.

Here’s a Not-So-Quick Question for you:  “How do you feel about a God who changes, and who wants us to ‘co-author’ his book?”

Note:  Here is Nat Bedingfield’s live acoustic performance of the song.

Note:  If you wish to watch another music video of Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten,” click here.

UNWRITTEN

I am unwritten, can’t read my mind, I’m undefined
I’m just beginning, the pen’s in my hand, ending unplanned

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Oh, oh, oh

I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We’ve been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can’t live that way

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
The rest is still unwritten
The rest is still unwritten

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