Thursday, August 4, 2016

Soothing vs. Penetration



As I woke this morning, these words came quite suddenly as I was reflecting on a situation in which they would apply: “You don’t want to be soothed, you want to be penetrated.” 

This statement causes me to consider how many don’t want to truly enter into the details or depth of another person. Many only want to skim or “soothe” the surface. In doing so they perhaps feel as if they have done their part. That is, what would be considered an acceptable investment. Only enough is given to keep one in the soothing person’s sphere. 

Penetration of the right sort should be stable, solid, consistent. Soothing is only temporary, fleeting, wishy washy, unpredictable. Penetration is willing to unearth where soothing only caresses the surface, upsetting nothing. Penetration is a commitment, soothing is a non-committed sweetly deceptive dessert. 

Obviously, there are different types of relationships. Not all require a certain penetration. Sometimes a momentary soothing may be the only required recourse in a particular instance. However, there are those situations where an invitation to go deeper presents itself in such a way that it cannot be denied. The end result of course depends on both of the individuals involved. 

Many times we simply can’t penetrate in love, because we have not allowed anyone to ever penetrate us. Possessing a certain emotional maturity is necessary. 

Penetration wants to know the whole person, or resolve the whole of a matter. Soothing only manipulates, deceives, and denies what could have been a beautiful unity that will never be realized. 

Imagine how lost we might feel if Jesus only continually soothed us. Unfortunately, this is what is mostly evident in American Christianity especially. One only has to momentarily consider the ever so popular ‘business that is called a ministry’ chaos. One can easily obtain a proper soothing for money.

So, we only require soothing, and are only willing to soothe others lest we go too far. We want to be coddled and comforted, but we don’t really want to change or the bear the burden of another. Our soothing crutch is the ultimate 'bauta' Venetian mask. As followers of God, our regeneration required the deepest penetration. Or quite simply, we have only been redeemed to the extent we have allowed ourselves to be penetrated and changed.

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