God doesn’t have hands. Only we have hands. If we refuse to use our hands as conduits of the Divine will, God’s hands are tied, so to speak. Not only do we rely on God, but God relies on us. Just as Jesus counted on his human disciples to spread the Gospel, God counts on us to be God’s hands and feet in the world—to be the body of Christ.
Without us, God’s work will not get done in the world. God doesn’t twist our arms in this process, but asks for our consent. God is about responsive love, not power over. Jesus teaches by example and by compassion, not by coercion and fear. We’re invited, not forced, to incarnate the Word of God.
The understanding of God in process with us casts off top-down relationship to God, where our job is simply to figure out God’s will and then submit. This understanding makes room for the complex and creative interplay between our will and God’s will influencing each other. And in my experience, God leaves details to us. God trusts us with our calling and isn’t a micromanager. A top-down micromanaging boss is much simpler to grasp, minimizing ambiguity. Process thought sits with the mysteries of God with us—in process with us—even letting us take the wheel sometimes.
The paradox is that we’re invited to participate in God’s power. So God isn’t all-powerful. Together with us God is all-powerful, but only if we consent. If we don’t consent, God’s hands are tied. In other words, in order for the incarnation to happen God had to say “yes” and Mary had to say “yes.” If Mary had said “no” there would have been no incarnation! We have a major part to play and God says “bring it!”