I have been reading Brennan Manning’s The Ragamuffin Gospel as part of my quest to discover grace in a new and deeper way. This quote had me in tears because it pretty much describes my exact struggle and journey over the past year.
Manning quotes Paul Tillich from The Shaking of the Foundations
Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. It strikes us when we walk through the dark valley of a meaningless and empty life…it strikes us when, year after year, the longed-for perfection does not appear, when the old compulsions reign within us as they have for decades, when despair destroys all joy and courage. Sometimes in that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a voice were saying, “You are accepted. You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you, and the name of which you do not know. Do not ask for the name now; perhaps you will find it later. Do not try to do anything now; perhaps later you will do much. Do not seek for anything, do not perform anything, do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted.” If that happens to us, we experience grace.
It has been hard for me recently to quiet myself and just accept the fact that I am accepted. I have had to make myself stop doing and performing and seeking and intending. I have fought hard against my natural inclination to do more to somehow prove my worthiness. But it was necessary. It was necessary for me to put aside myself and my own pathetic attempts at proving my righteousness in order for me to accept grace.