Ann, I have been greatly blessed by your book, but now as I just finished reading your chapter “The Joy of Intimacy,” I feel mixed emotions as to the “climax” of your journey. Maybe it’s as simple as, being a man, I can’t relate to your description of intercourse with God. But this chapter about when you left your husband to fly to the romance of Paris made me feel quite uncomfortable, in relation to our Holy Father God.
Here are some of the quotes from the chapter:
“The yearning. To merge with Beauty Himself. But here, now? Really? With Him utterly pure and me so soul ugly?” …”I think on being in Christ and Him being in me…Is this the edge of the mystery Paul speaks of? ‘A man shall leave his father and mother and is joined to his wife and the two are united into one. The two, Christ and the church becoming one flesh, the mystery of that romance. Breath falling on faith…the long embrace, the entering in and being within–this is what God seeks? with each of us?” …”God as husband in sacred wedlock, bound together, body and soul, fed by His body, quenched by his blood…” …”I think about union and what I’m skirting, what I’m drawn to.”…”God, He has blessed–caressed. I could bless God–caress with thanks. It’s our making love.”…my cold heart burns and He is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh and I am His and He is mine and I want to touch the paint. I want to run my fingertips across oils, let the colors saturate my skin, let them run into my blood. I want to be in the painting…I want to be in God and God to be in me, to exchange love and blessing and caresses…this is intercourse disrobed of its connotations.” …”The intercourse of soul with God is the very climax of joy…The scrolling gold frame holds what I long for and I feel this burn too, flush of embarrassment up the face.”
Bless you for your work. It’s a beautiful book. I simply feel this one chapter crossed the line, and want to share with you how your portrayal of our relationship and union with our Holy God came across to me. The romantic, sexual undertones aren’t relatable for men, and thus how can they be accurate pictures of God’s relationship with humans? as much as romance draws your heart, God obviously doesn’t “commune” differently with us based on gender.