Margery Kempe: A Dalliance with God
Another character in Chris Armstrong’s Patron Saints for Postmoderns is Margery Kempe. What intrigues me most about Margery is her deep connection with God. In describing her intimate prayer time, she often used the word “dalliance.”
Now dalliance does not seem like a very Godly or holy word; it means “frivolous spending of time, dawdling, playful flirtation.” Frivolous and flirting are not words that often come to mind when pondering one’s relationship with the almighty, yet for Margery they reflected the reality of her spiritual experience.
Dalliance is far removed from the inaccurate image of many who see God as a mean, malevolent power who is just waiting to strike down his people when they stray.
Dalliance is warm and affectionate; not distant, cold, or stern as many might conceive God to be.
Prayer is so much more than reeling off “want-list” to a genie who grants wishes; it is about worshiping, listening, connecting, and enjoying intimacy with creator, savior, and sustainer; it can be—and perhaps should be—a dalliance with God.
As for me, I like the idea of having a dalliance with God—and I think he likes that too.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.