My husband and I were talking with other couples about male/female communication styles. The focal point was how the men wanted to solve what the women wanted to express. It would be cliche if it weren’t so true. It’s frustrating when it happens, because neither person feels like they accomplish what they needed to accomplish. I think we can do the same thing with faith. If we think that someone should express their faith in a certain way, we can miss the beautiful ways that they are actually living it. Even if it is a small thing, we can frustrate it by devaluing it. Even worse, we can do it to ourselves. We think our faith needs to look or feel a certain way, can only behave or be expressed in a certain way, and we miss the moments to just be real with God. We can miss the opportunity to be humble and give what little we may have over to be made into something beautiful. St. Therese of Lisieux describes us like a child lifting our little foot to ascend a staircase. We can’t reach it, but as God watches our effort, His heart will be touched and He will come down and lift us up. It’s a beautiful thing.
You can read the whole passage here:
One of the novices, greatly discouraged at the thought of her imperfections, tells us that her mistress spoke to her as follows:
“You make me think of a little child that is learning to stand but does not yet know how to walk. In his desire to reach the top of the stairs to find his mother, he lifts his little foot to climb the first step. It is all in vain, and at each renewed effort he falls. Well, be like that little child. Always keep lifting your foot to climb the ladder of holiness, and do not imagine that you can mount even the first step. All God asks of you is good will. From the top of the ladder He looks lovingly upon you, and soon, touched by your fruitless efforts, He will Himself come down, and, taking you in His Arms, will carry you to His Kingdom never again to leave Him. But should you cease to raise your foot, you will be left for long on the earth.” (Story of A Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux)