The Holiness of the Here and Now – Part 80
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
–Proverbs 27:6 (ESV)
The stone feels only the cruel tip of the chisel, and every blow seems intent upon destruction. For the stone, cut to pieces by these repeated blows, does not feel itself taking on a new shape. It feels only a chisel that cuts it down, scrapes it, disfigures it. Poor stone! It may end up being a statue or a crucifix, but it does not know that. Go ahead and ask it, “What is happening to you?” This is what it would say: “Do not ask me. All I know is that I must hold still under the hand of my master, and love him even as I suffer. He knows my purpose and how to bring it about. I cannot see what he is doing or what I am becoming. I know only that whatever he does is best. And so, I receive each blow of the chisel as the most excellent things that could happen to me. Although, if I were to be honest, with each blow I feel only ruin, disfigurement, and destruction. But be that as it may, I am happy with the present moment, I think only of my duty, and I welcome the work of this master artist. I do not understand it and I do not try to.”
–Jean Pierre de Caussade
One test of your abandonment will be how you receive each blow of the chisel. But first, you must recognize them. There are things that God has given you the authority and responsibility to resist and rebuke. There are other things that God has given you the grace to endure. These are things such as disappointment, delay, criticism (both fair and unfair), rejection, and betrayal, to name a few. You are a stone under the hand of the Master Sculptor. The blows of the chisel are the wounds of a friend. You are free to receive them as “the most excellent thing that could happen.” Do so, and you will advance quickly along the path.
The Holiness of the Here and Now is a daily devotional that I am currently working on. When I am finished, there will be 365 chapters like the one above. Meanwhile, I am sharing this work-in-progress. Like the Facebook page to see content like this in your feed.