"The greatness of the Christian saint lies in their readiness to be questioned, judged, stripped naked and left speechless by that which lies at the center of their faith."
– Rowan Williams, The Wound of Knowledge, 10.
In other words, saints aren’t those who have more intelligence than others, or those who have more knowledge than others, or those who have scrupulous morals. It is those who simply submit to the fire of God’s chaotic unmaking that He might re-make them as a "new creation."
This is usually an unpleasant, humiliating and confusing experience, so it takes some trust that ultimately God is working to bring transfiguration from glory to glory.
Thank you for that beautiful quote. I always think of this gut-wrenching process you are writing about as “trying to be humble” but that phrase can become so trite (plus it returns the emphasis on what I should do – be humble – instead of what God is doing).
In a strange way, I also find this concept (simply submitting to God) to be extremely liberating. I work in a fairly small church that recently moved into a new building. Of course, with that comes grand expectations of growth, demands for exciting new vision statements, calls for new “hip” programs, blah blah blah…
But it’s not about “growing the church” (especially americanized-consumer ready churchianity)… it’s about partnering with God (in whatever way He wishes to use us) as He is busy at work redeeming the world around us.
Anyway, when I am able to simply submit (as best I can) it can be painful indeed, but it also helps me see that I don’t have to have it all figured out, I don’t have to be perfect, I don’t have to be “super-christian.”