Ancient Wisdom, Post Modern Longing Part 8

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Rop tussu t’ áenur sainserc mo chride; ní rop nech aile acht Airdrí nime.

Be thou in me dwelling and I with thee one.

Ah, oneness. Intimacy. Union. Communion. These are the currency of the Type Two. What’s a Type Two? Get ready for our “Know Your Number” series coming in February. You can learn more about the Enneagram personality system which is what we’ll be exploring.

Type Two’s (like me) determine success in almost everything through personal connection, and relationship. Is a business successful? How are the relationships? A sports team, a church, a club, a school? A Two wants to know how people are getting along. Intimacy is the gold standard. A+. Gold Medal. (It’s important to note here that intimacy is not just the popular understanding of sex. Sadly, a Google search for “Intimacy Christian perspective” reveals that the church might be a big propagator of this misunderstanding! But check this out for a better understanding of what I mean.)

Intimacy is a state of privacy where two people, or a small group or a family, shielded from the larger group, are able to reveal themselves more fully, physically, psychologically, sexually, and so forth.

International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2001

Two things to note about this definition: One, God is a person. Two, sadly, the category labeled “so forth” contains most of what makes up a relationship with God: spirit, worship, prayer, meditation, communion, abiding…all “so forths”.

Success = Intimacy!

For me, any endeavor must be compared to intimacy if I’m to draw a conclusion about real success. Maybe this is the Two Type’s super power to be used in the church. Therefore, Twos can always be trusted to have the goal of deep connection with God and one another in mind (or at least close at hand). Of course, there are downsides, shadows and brokenness in this value system, but we are so focused on intimacy that we can be trusted to make a beeline for it. If you want to find your way to a butcher shop, just release a hungry dog and follow him. Likewise, if you want to learn how to value intimacy follow a Two.

“You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride;
    you have stolen my heart
with one glance of your eyes…” Song of Solomon 4:8

After more than 25 years, I am still deeply moved that God is so explicit, so unashamedly open about his desire for union with us. No other religious or philosophical tradition contains the sort of personal longing for union that’s described in the Song of Solomon. Yes, this poem celebrates the wonder and warns of the potency of sexual desire. But for millennia, it has been recognized as an allegory for God’s love by Jews and Christians alike. It’s steamy, intense and frankly a little embarrassing. I love it!

Look at Communion. Think of the word Communion. We mysteriously take in the body and blood of Jesus Christ! Ew! Weird, sticky and smelly and desperate! Yet it reflects the central truth of the Christian endeavor: Oneness with God. I love it!

Moreover, look at the cross. Having been at the side of someone at the moment of their death more than once and as an emergency services chaplain navigating the moments immediately after a death dozens of times – I can tell you there are very few moments packed with more intimacy. Similarly, we are invited to stay suspended between that moment of Jesus death, the power of his resurrection and the hope of his return. Without that death ever-present to us, we cannot be who he called us to be. The intimacy of the cross is a singular gift. I love it!

Be thou in me dwelling and I with thee one.

Oneness drives me.

Want to learn more about intimacy with God? Applications is just a click away!


57 year old husband of 31 years, father of two, drumming Gardner.