Saturday, 30 June 2012

Octave of Peter and Paul - Day 2 - I do not know the Man

2 Corinthians 12

'I was given a thorn in my flesh,' 

There is much speculation about Paul's 'thorn' - this is my interpretation - today

I know who I am; although who I am is not who I was and is not what I will be. 

That makes me sound intelligent, I know. I am, indeed,  intelligent; an educated man - languages, law, travel, scripture, a man of letters - and now -  a man of Letters. Writing to tiny jewels of faith, communities of saints, sanctuaries of hope. Telling them of my faith, my hope - in Him.

The Him I met on a dusty road; knocked, for the first time but not the last, from my high and mighty seating. Disarmed from all my justification by the simple question 'Why?'. A 'Why' that echoed through the universe until it vibrated through the skin of my existence; becoming the very heartbeat of my soul; the murmur of my breath; the throb of my pulse. 

Is that my 'thorn'? Ah, that it was; there is a satisfaction in the admission of guilt; in the knowing that what follows is forgiveness.

But no; for my thorn I look to Peter; though I do not blame him. But Peter has what I do not and for that I feel the prick of envy, the spike of resentment.

Peter has Jesus.

Peter's roads were filled with the dust from his feet; the song of his voice; the comfort of his arm. Peter's own home was filled with the sound of his storytelling; the delight of his laughter; the mystery of his dreams. Peter's boat was filled with his landlubber's awkwardness; his hands at the net; his snores on the passage. 

Peter knows the man.

I do not know the man. 

I know the Christ; the God that Peter finds so discomforting; who is my comfort. I know the Christ that turned my heart and my head to his will. The Christ that threw the stars into space; who set the tides and the shoals to swim the depths; who lights the heavens so brightly that the darkness flees in utter terror. I know the Christ that loves me.

I know the Christ that loves me.

I want to know the man.



  1. Thanks Word, This is intriguing.I never thought of Paul this way. You write so beautifully and really get into it. You have obviously spent a lot of time reflecting before posting and the quality shows in the end product.

  2. Thank you Phil; we certainly have some conversations in prayer - some much better than I can write. It was an intriguing point of view that he would feel this way.