This is going to get awkward. But hopefully, along the way, it will be interesting, too.
(By the way, I think that sentence above is pretty much my lifetime motto.)
When I tell the kids that their mom and I are going out on a date, we get inevitable groans and complaints. Because I have an inner seven year old who likes to provoke, sometimes I promise the kids that I will be sure to kiss their mother repeatedly, while we are out. Sometimes I demonstrate in front of them. Inevitably, louder groans of annoyance, disgust, and irritation.
The awkward irony here is that the kids we have created: they are living proof of our passion for each other. If it were not for our sexuality they would not be here. I am not unsympathetic to their position: to recognize that I am living proof of my own mom’s and dad sexuality is pretty gross stuff. But nonetheles, their is something self-contradictory in complaining about your parent’s attraction to each other.
Certain thinkers, who can seem almost as awkward as me, right now, equate eros, and sexuality with a kind-of creation. It sometimes even gets attributed to God “him”self, this eros. God running around creating the world, and it’s not different than a couple making love and making a baby.
It’s not different. Except for the fact that it is exactly the opposite. Because, of course, we just start the life making process. We are not actually doing the creating: the fusion of sperm and egg, the crazy mitosis that occurs as the single cell becomes a zygote, then a fetus, then a little tiny person… we are pretty much out of the loop on that. Also, God does the whole thing with out even a partner. Except for the trinity. Except for the fact that one third of the trinity is his son.
This all gets very confusing. Is the Holy Spirit and God the Father a bit like a man and a women? Is Jesus a bit like the child made through this whole affair? Yes. It is exactly like that. Except for the part where it is exactly the opposite. For example, Jesus is also uncreated and was around since the beginning of time.
Sex, of course, does not always yield a baby. But a powerful romantic relationship? It is always an act of creation. Something is being built in the space between two people, and then it is built up and around them. Not only the material of a life, but also, a way of understanding the universe: a way of being. When two people are in love, they create a new understanding, together, of how to be the individuals that they were meant to be.
Eros, then, is a creative energy. One of those crazy places that God invites us to co-create. This is primal, powerful stuff. Of course there are so many ways it all goes so terribly wrong. I don’t know about you, but I am a mess. Broken in all sorts of ways. The possibility of my mistakes writ large is daunting. No wonder so many of us struggle with intimacy!
But there is something good within us. A reflection of God himself. The possibility of bringing that out… That is pretty awesome.