He also said, ‘The nearer a man draws to God, the more he sees himself as a sinner. It was when Isaiah the prophet saw God, that he declared himself “a man of unclean lips”’ (Isaiah 6:5)
——Abba Mateo of the Desert
As I ponder these words from the desert, I am symbolically called to the stand in front of a mirror. A mirror is a reminder, sometimes a shocking one, of how we truly look. The older we get the more we are surprised at what the passing of years has done to our faces, but we must accept the true self we see in the mirror or we can become very sick and dysfunctional beings. The Abba reminds us that we must take a “God look” at ourselves to understand our true nature. As we draw closer to God and do more intense soul work we become enlightened and realistic about our place in this world. Like Isaiah of old, our ministry only begins when we see and acknowledge our uncleanness.
The sweet Christian journey gets only sweeter when we know that we are a sinner among sinners, and not a judge sent to make things right. As people who have faced our true selves, we can reach out to our family, friends, and neighbors with the true heart of God. We no longer sit in judgment, but stand beside and walk with those in need. May we all draw near to God?
- Pursuing Holiness (pbsministries.wordpress.com)