God Close Yet Distant
God is transcendent and wholly other, yet we make a mistake if we consider that God is merely distant rather than close. The closeness of God and God’s otherness are not incompatible. However, we can fail to understand God if we consider closeness and familiarity on par with one another. While God draws close to us, he must never be treated with familiarity. The miracle for us is that God draws close to us in God’s otherness. Indeed, the miracle of the incarnation that the one can be known to us in the person of Jesus Christ comes from a distance, entering into our world, understanding our frailty and partaking in our suffering and pain.
Nevertheless, God’s nearness does not overthrow God’s otherness for the two are to be continuously held in tension. If we are to enter into a meaningful and respectful relationship with the one who is the creator of all things, ourselves included. Likewise, God’s otherness does not prevent God from demonstrating God’s love and sympathetic understanding to each one of us in all our need. Equally, God’s loving mercy does not preclude God from introducing change and transformation into the world that we inhabit.