I used to see God just like this. Me, God, two inexorable features locked tightly in a molded sculpture of perfection. This is what I thought God wanted to do in my life. Bend me and shape me, the iron rod, the unforgiving stone of a life, to erode me and form me into something different than I am. After all, it's exactly what I deserve. If He is my constant companion, and sees my defeats and torment, surely He is the disciplinarian, the head honcho, the boss you duck to hide from at work:

Why does it feel like night today?
Something in here's not right today
Why am I so uptight today?
Paranoia's all I got left

I don't know what stressed me first
Or how the pressure was fed
But I know just what it feels like
To have a voice in the back of my head

It's like a face that I hold inside
A face that awakes when I close my eyes
A face watches every time I lie
A face that laughs every time I fall
And watches everything

So I know that when it's time to sink or swim
That the face inside is hearing me
Right underneath my skin

I know I've got a face in me
Points out all my mistakes to me
You've got a face on the inside too and
Your paranoia's probably worse
~Papercut, Linkin Park~

And to that God counters with the sweet, strong courageous voice from the pulpit that reads to me from Psalm 45. I shake while worshiping, penance for years thinking of God as an authoritarian parent I drew back from. Jesus, Lover of my soul? What He pursues is me, the real me? Not to break me, but to love me? This scandalous love affair between Creator and created seems like something we keep under wraps, don't speak about too much in public, for fear of coming across a bit odd. But, like breath in, breath out, intimacy with Him grows, magnificent, holy, supernatural and as natural as that reflex to breath in and out. 

Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear:
forget your people and your father's house,
and the king will desire your beauty.
Since he is your lord, bow to him.
The people of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts,
the richest of the people.

All glorious is the princess in her chamber, 
with robes interwoven with gold.
In many-colored robes she is led to the king,
with her virgin companions following behind her.
With joy and gladness they are led along
as they enter the palace of the king.

In place of your fathers shall be your sons;
you will make them princes in all the earth.
I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations;
therefore nations will praise you forever and ever.
~Psalm 45:10-17~

My gratitude list, excerpted from #649-656~
650. Starting the day with a positive thought for future
652. Matching tattoo with Melanie!
654. Peace in the Bachs home
656. Three little girls with matching pixie haircuts