Last night I had a drink with a friend, and he told me about his transformed life. He didn’t call it that, but there it is, and here he is, the prodigal son returned, the lost sheep brought home to the fold, the newly fitted vessel overflowing. He talked to me as if I know all these things he is learning, as if I have some wisdom, or bear some God-breathed peace.
I used to think I had these things, and now that I see how little of them I really have, it stings to be with people who think I do. I fumbled for words, but I haven’t many of them these days either. So mostly I listened, and it was a good thing, to hear about the new life being forged in his flesh.
We talked about theology, and agreed we are neither of us as smart as we used to believe. We’ve learned there is a knowing beneath the mind’s knowing. He is a man of action, and now he is hurling himself into the life borne of belief. I think this is what I envy, the seamless transition from epiphany to action, which is something that so readily escapes me, or I it.
I am instead a man of hesitancy and rumination and selfishness, still working out how love is an other-focused thing, and can only ever be, still working out my salvation with fear and trembling, still paused at the Cross, lead-footed and heavy-hearted, unsure whether to climb up on it or fall down before it or drive in the nails.