“Perhaps I am stronger than I think. Perhaps I am even afraid of my strength, and turn it against myself, thus making myself weak. Marking myself secure. Making myself guilty. Perhaps I am most afraid othe strength of God in me. Perhaps I would rather be guilty and weak in myself, than strong in Him whom I cannot understand.” -Thomas Merton Conjecturesd of a Guilty Bystander (135)
Our potential greatness is the monster in our closet? The unnameable fear which can either cripple or motivate us.
Perhaps what keeps us awake is not the devil in me living in the murky waters of the basest of my instincts, but the angel, that glorious divine being who massive wings are beating against the confines of our trembling chest.
We are afraid of our weakness the way we might be afraid of a doberman with a bark and an accompanying ferocious fang. But it is purely a physical fear, and they are fleeting. You turn the corner and the bark is gone and so is the fear.
But if I were to see an angel, I would tremble in a more terrible way. That fear is not tied to my survival. Fear as survival reaction is ready to flee because it has good hope for escape. I would tremble before an angel because I know I cannot escape.
We cannot escape God, or the strong being God wants to make of us, so we pretend we have not seen God or what God has made of us already in Christ. We pretend we are still weak.