The topic of my humanity and all the failure and shortcomings that are implicit in it, is often on my mind. I have ever hoped to be perfect – and so I am destined to continue beating my head against a brick wall; I am not, and I never will be perfect. As I age I am beginning to find ways to flagellate myself less often…but old habits die hard. Recently I came across two passages that have been helpful to hold on to. Henri Nouwen in “With Open Hands” writes,
To pray means to stop expecting from God the same small-mindedness which you discover in yourself. To pray is to walk in the full light of God and to say simply, without holding back, "I am human and you are God." A human being is not someone who once in a while makes a mistake, and God is not someone who now and then forgives. No! Human beings are sinners and God is love.
At the church in Newton the minister’s habit is to put a quotation on the front of the bulletin to stir some thinking in connection with the worship theme for the day. About a month ago it was this from Peter Gomes’ The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart…
The Bible is filled with the companionship of the confused and seeking, men and women made of the most ordinary stuff who often fail to understand, who make mistakes, whose humanity is transparent, but who encounter the living God and whose lives are thereby changed.
Human, often prey to error and failure, confused and seeking, encountering a God whose love transforms and is boundless. What a life…what a relationship.