The Gentle Draw of God

Swimmers Frolic – MN Landscape Arboretum Sculpture Garden

Jesus said, “The reason I speak to them in parables is that “seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.” Matthew 13:13

It is comforting to recognize that all of Jesus’ followers and friends slip. I’ve been that person who thought I knew everything about an issue, only to learn later how confused I was.

We flounder right after we’ve received the fresh insight, just when we think we’ve figured it out. We falter at the moment in  time when we think we’ve come to terms with life and with God. Even those first disciples of Jesus swung between great insights and  humiliating self-centeredness.    They had it together some days and others – not so much. One day they were faithful followers, and the next they were arguing about who was greatest in the Kingdom of God.   John Procotor, says of them “Enviable though their place in time may be, these disciples still flounder between insight and failure . . . their journey involves both progress and stumbling.”*

As do our journey’s. The grace-filled thing about this is that when we stumble, we stumble into God’s arms. We stumble between insight and failure.   We see failure. God sees an chance for us to learn and grow. We get another opportunity to learn about kindness and grace. We are reminded of forgiveness and mercy. Humbling moments carry their own lesson of true humility. 

There are times when we look to the giants of the faith, comparing ourselves to them. Yet, even they were not perfect. Mother Theresa had her moments of doubt. Others had issues with anger, relationships or grudges. Each of us carries a set of vulnerabilities. Some days we fail miserably and on others we know we’ve done our best. We are frail human beings who need friendship, compassion, affirmation, love, encouragement and companionship. We need to know that we are both loved and loveable. God reminds us that no matter how high or how low our status, God loves each of us. God loves us in our fragility, woundedness, dysfunctional behavior and everything else. God loves us when we are at our worst and at our very best. God’s love never fails. But whenever we stumble, God gently and quietly draws us close, pulling us back to places of healing and rest. For this I give thanks.


*John Procotor, “Feasting on the Gospels Matthew Volume I” Reflection on Matthew 13:10-17

A version of this post was first published March 14, 2017

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