A quiet, humble, and bright student with whom I once had the pleasure to work would ask questions about facts that were not in dispute. Not just one question; sometimes three or four. Feeling initially confident about my grasp of the fact, then finding myself unable to answer the questions, I was delighted to discover what I called the porosity of fact. The metaphor comes from the physics of the atom: solid enough to get the job done, but mostly empty space.
The porosity metaphor also covers apparently insuperable obstacles: there’s always a way around it or through it. At least that’s my initial assumption.
The porosity metaphor is akin to another metaphor: permeability, a metaphor from the biology of cell membranes, which are more or less permeable by certain molecules. Permeability comes to mind when I am thinking about the mind’s capacity to cooperate with God. I believe that the Creator did not just design us physically, give us a mind, and throw us into the evolutionary drama to sink or swim. I believe that he ministers to our minds very intimately and delicately. Consider Isaiah 11:2.
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him– the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD.
I interpret “fear” as awe, respect, reverence, and worship; and proceed as follows. I do not assume that this is a complete list of God’s ministries to our minds, but I do embrace that the mind has functions—or clusters of functions—such as understanding. These functions can receive divine assistance. Praying for self or another person, I sometimes pray for greater permeability for functions of mind.
The simple way to get the main idea across is to say that the spirit of God attempts to bless the human mind, and that we can try to become more open to the spirit and can pray for help in doing so. The porosity and permeability metaphors symbolize the conviction that reality is more complex than it appears and offers more potentials for cooperation with God than we suspect.