While I was talking about this, though, I had one of those moments where you say something and then you wonder if it means something more than you meant when you first said it. This was the thing I said:
You feel, if you're writing a story through which to work out your issues, that you can't make anything happen that you don't want to happen to you, so you allow some conflict and stuff, but you can't let anybody get into really deep water, because you don't want to get into it yourself. You might end up writing your own reality.
It suddenly occurred to me that here was something God actually did. He wrote His own reality into the human story. I don't mean He wrote it through the vehicle of the human story. It's not that He had issues and has been inflicting them on us this whole time. It's that we have issues and He allowed us to inflict them on Him. I didn't love my NaNoWriMo characters and so I didn't want to get to involved. But God? Well, evidently He wasn't afraid of getting into the deep water Himself.
I didn't know, before, when people talked abstractly about how amazing it is that God entered the human story, or that God suffers when we suffer, quite what that meant. And I'm not sure I can really describe in words what those abstracts mean to me now. But I have this sense that "amazing" doesn't even come close, and that God knew what I only discovered by talking about it--that if I got close enough to my characters to create real, transforming conflict in their lives, I'd get close enough to get hurt myself. But God didn't just know it. He did it anyway.
We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
Through his bruises we get healed.
(Isaiah 53 segment, The Message)