This morning I was listening to “On Being” a radio program/podcast on human flourishing. A couple of years ago I caught a bit of the episode with Jean Vanier, founder of the L’Arche communities. I finally downloaded the podcast of this particular episode (which has been on my mental to do list ever since I first heard this episode). It’s a lovely interview, if you get a chance, but what stood out to me was Vanier’s expressed desire to become a little friend of Jesus. He mentioned this desire twice and each time it resonated within me – almost bringing me to tears.
In these moments we are offered an internal glimpse of our hearts. Our responses that surprise us can point to parts of our heart that are obscured or hidden. Most of the time for me, these moments involve my realizing how mixed my motivations are, how truly selfish I can be, or how judgmental I am towards others. There are occasional moments when I am surprised in good ways. I am glad that the Jean Vanier interview touched upon a tender area in my heart that just wants to love Jesus, that just wants to be his little friend.
How good of our God to allow us glimpses into both our broken desires as well as our redeemed ones. If I am honest, I begrudgingly thank God for the glimpses into my sin, although I am always surprised by how gracious he is in those moments. Yet, he also shows us our places of growth and redemption. I never expect these moments from God. I think I just expect his pointing out the messy parts of my heart – which says more about me than it does God.
Part of my being a little friend of Jesus will also involve my learning to trust in his ways – what he reveals, whether it be uncomfortable or encouraging. I expect a scary judgment monster, while God repeatedly shows up as a kind father, who invites me to repent and re-join his pace of life.
I am slowly learning to take him at his word.