Philip Phillips understands intimacy. His words are the words of all lovers, including our perfect Divine Lover.
You can't hide when you're intimate with someone, whether it's a friend, a partner, or a spouse. You lay the treasure of yourself, the gold coinage of your soul, out on the table, and all is tenderly received by the other while at the same moment he or she gives you all their previously buried treasure for you to tenderly receive.
Intimacy is the only way we can become connected to ourselves and to others, to grow inside in depth and breadth, in this increasingly more profound give-and-take. Intimacy is the only path to true inner peace in an increasingly impersonal, competitive, hostile world.
Although sex is often called "being intimate with someone," sex is not intimacy unless it's an expression of love between two people who are committed to intellectual, emotional, and spiritual intimacy with each other. Which is why true spirituality considers casual, promiscuous sex games as being a wrong path to take, a path that leads you away from yourself and away from others.
Casual, promiscuous sex is only a superficial physical encounter between people who are deliberately avoiding knowing themselves or anyone else and are carelessly using one of real intimacy's most precious expressions in an act of anonymous self-gratification.
Intimacy is not easy. Some people, once they've been hurt and rejected, run away and hide from intimate relationships the rest of their lives. They become totally self-sufficient and think they are capable of doing it all and being it all because they can't trust anyone else enough to do or be anything for them. And they sure as heck will never ever let anyone else see their vulnerability. They don't even let themselves see it!
All of us have been hurt to some degree. All of us face that difficult task of painfully removing mask after mask to reveal our failures, our glories, our vulnerabilities, our needs, to another.
If intimacy with other human beings is so difficult, what about intimacy with God? Is it even possible?
If intimacy can only happen between equals, between people who are equally vulnerable and scared and scarred, how can we possibly have an intimate relationship with a Being Who is All-Powerful and All-Righteous? Isn't this inequality? Some people look at God Who is All-Powerful and misunderstand His relationship with us. They say: Isn't this co-dependence on the human's part, or a Dominant God controlling a Submissive human? Way too many people think so. They think that prayer is a way to appease or to manipulate the Super-Power to get what they want. They can't truly love a God Whom they fear.
But God chose to even the balance. God chose to become equal with us and as equally scared, scarred, and vulnerable as we are by joining us in the Person of Jesus. If we are turned off by an erroneous image of an angry God demanding a pound of flesh, realize that sometimes human beings get it wrong and God came to set us straight and reveal His love, forgiveness of our sins, humility, mercy, and vulnerability in His Son Jesus, Who is God's Real Self.
And so in our intimate exchange with God, we exchange our hearts, and ours has been pierced by selfishness and rejection, and His has been pierced by ingratitude and a lance. We're on the even ground of pain. And the even ground of love. He holds us close and we can rest in perfect safety and peace.
But our humble, courteous God will never impose Himself on any one of us. God will hide until we are ready for intimacy with God. God says that if we search for Him with our whole hearts, we will find Him. But we have to be ready to risk with our entire selves. And to trust Him - wholeheartedly.
I think that sadly, some people don't believe in God because they have this false idea of Who God is - the Dominant, Vengeful Super-Power, or because they are fleeing intimacy. They've been wounded somewhere, somehow. They don't want to know who they are and they don't want to need anyone but themselves. They're too hurt and too scared.
But God waits patiently. If we think of lovers who get their beloveds' names tattooed on some part of their bodies, we can understand God's Words: "Your Name is permanently engraved on the palms of My hands and no man shall pluck you out." That's God, loving and waiting for each of us. That's intimacy, ready to happen. That's inner peace, ready to be had. When we're ready to take the risk of intimacy and both give and receive the gift of Self wholeheartedly.