For four years I was an Assemblies of God minister and a monk with the Brothers and Sisters of Charity at the Little Portion Hermitage. This is an excerpt from my book Taking Off My Comfortable Clothes: Removing Religion to Find Relationship.
I must realize that my ability, even my desire, to commune with God starts with God. He speaks, I exist. He pursues, I respond. He dies, I live. He desires me, I open to Him.
But I cannot help but wonder: Why me? What in me does He desire? What does He want? My talents? My charm? My abilities?
Yes and no. All and none. When He calls to me, He calls to ALL of me. He wants me before His gracious throne with my sins and my sacrifice; my talents and my inabilities; my joys and my misgivings; my love, hope, emotions, feelings, doubts, concerns, questions and understanding. When God died for us on the Cross, He died for the whole of us.
My desire to come before the throne of God comes from His desire to have me there. My love for Him springs from His love for me. So, all that I am and can do originates from Him, which leaves me only boasting in Him who is kind, righteous, just, and loving (Jer. 9:23-24).
It is a sad and humiliating thing to see yourself before God and realize you have nothing good to offer Him. It is a joyous and wonderful thing to see Him take your offering of yourself and turn it into a gift which praises Him. It is then that you truly learn that all things are possible with God.
I think the reason that we are left so speechless at God’s reception of all that we are – flat-sides and all, is that we have such a hard time understanding that God regards all things differently than we do. God’s entire perspective on what life is – its plan and purpose – are so completely different from our own that the two are irreconcilable. That is why we have to trust. Even an explanation from “on high” would be meaningless to us because of our inability to understand God’s perspective. The simplest way for me to describe it is this – nothing that has value here has any value in eternity.
I’d like to say, “Nothing but Love has any value in eternity,” but then I believe even our concept of the greatest love in the universe pales in comparison with what we’ll learn about love when we stand face to Face.