My experience is that the Word of God is there in a human spiritual director for those who have the patience and humility to wait. God speaks his perfect word to us through human vessels. If we can learn to be humble and patient under spiritual direction through imperfect elders, then we can gain the nugget of the Word that is in this human package. Fr. Martin can make me a little crazy at times, but he has been without question the instrument of the very Word of God for me in many more times of crisis and trial.
I typed this quote from John Michael Talbot several months ago. I wish I had written down where I found it.
In the middle of some intense and sharp irritation and frustration I felt recently as a result of a conversation with a dear friend, God “filled in the gaps” with deep gratitude and even worship.
It’s not that I was immediately less frustrated with my friend, just that God didn’t allow the frustration to exist in isolation from the beautiful reality of how He uses friendships in the body of Christ (and this friendship specifically)
to speak to me,
to help me see Him,
to grow intimacy with Him. (I keep trying to come up with a less cheesy, better way to say the feeling that is behind this last phrase. The words just aren’t coming, and the feeling is still there, so this phrase, insufficient as it is, will have to do.)
He does all those things through my very real, imperfect, human friends who put words and skin and bones to the Word of God.
Walking through the intense “grrrrrr” I have been experiencing, I’m ending up more in awe than ever before at how we do reflect the image of God to each other. More specifically, I am amazed at how my friend, in relationship with me, has reflected the image of God to me and helped me see and cling to God when I couldn’t or wouldn’t have, had I been living isolated from relationship.
Today’s frustration cannot erase the beauty in that or the gratefulness (to God and to my friend) for that.
And so, once again, my friend has helped bring me back to a place of worship.