And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. … for when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

*   *   *

If we think we’re faultless, we’ll feel no need to turn to the Holy One for healing or guidance. In fact, in an air of superiority, we become less human. It’s harder to welcome and appreciate others. How can we truly relate to anyone, then? Where’s the empathy or compassion to arise?

*   *   *

In that weakness, Paul admits a need for a daily blessing of Christ’s presence, which he here calls grace. Early Friends used the expressions “the Seed of Christ,” “the Witness of Christ Within,” and “Children of the Light” to also acknowledge as “the Inward Light.” This is a radical and revolutionary understanding of the gospel – of the good news.

*   *   *

If we fall on our faces while attempting to reach out to others, let us remember that one of the great discoveries in walking with Christ comes when we learn that falling on our face doesn’t really matter. Jesus frees us from our false pride and stands ready to lift us out of the mud. In the state of humility that comes from walking in the Spirit of Truth, we can enter great joy and grace.

*   *   *

Even that Word of his Grace, which is able to build us up, and to give us an Inheritance among all those that are sanctified through Faith, which is in Christ Jesus. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)

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