A Trinity diagram as a Fidget Spinner
A prisoner in solitary confinement is truly isolated, being unable to see others, to touch, be touched, or communicate at all. Such punishment is carried out with great caution, for in solitary confinement, a person can lose their humanity. We were made for relationships, become human through relationships, and cease to be human without relationships.
Once upon a time, there was nothing. Nothing, I believe, except God. That experience of nothingness transcends any solitary confinement ever imposed.
Our congregation will soon be celebrating the Festival of the Holy Trinity – a churchly sounding title if ever I heard one… High sounding holy days aside, this will be a time when we revel in one of the greatest mysteries of our faith – that God is One, but that God is also Three (in different ways).
Critics of Christianity are quick to point out this belief of ours as proof that we: A. Are irrational, B. Can’t handle basic math, or C. Have a compulsive need to do things in sets of three (such as sneezing, list making, or saying “Good Bye” before actually leaving. (Guilty – I embody the ‘Minnesota ‘Good-Bye’’…)).
“Come on!” I hear them say. “Use your common sense! One can’t be three, and three can’t be one!” Maybe yes… maybe no… After all, the universe often contradicts “common sense”– just consider the noble Platypus or the popularity of decomposed hops and barley! (AKA – Beer)… Reality doesn’t care if I find it hard to understand – things just are the way they are!
Now to return to where I began – in the utterly solitary existence of God before the creation of all things. With this scene before us, there are two things I cannot believe. On the one hand, I cannot believe that God was somehow woefully inadequate before He made us. I may have my reasons for witling or drawing, but the things I make don’t make me more whole. I believe the same is true for God.
On the other hand, I cannot believe that a God who was perfectly fine in absolute solitude could possibly be a God of Love. A person who lived their whole life in solitary confinement from birth could not learn love because they could never practice love. If God was perfectly whole before there was anything that could be loved, then how could we, His witlings and drawings, claim that He is Love or that He loves us?
I believe that the answer is the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Three in person, one in nature. One God, who contains in Himself an eternity of relationship between the three, bound together in love. Thus, the One Triune God is a God of Love because God IS in relationship, even in the solitude of pre-creation. For such a God, the very act of creation becomes not so much an exercise in omnipotence, but rather the expansion of the relationships and love of the Trinity to include more and more in His embrace.
Such a God is truly a God of Love.