I laid in bed last night just considering all the different things I've got stored in my head to think about. I thought about all the questions I have, and all the ways I'm inadequate. I thought about all the fears I'm trying to face, the people I'm trying to love, and all the many ways I fall short and question the things I've said or done during the day.
What would the book of my life read if God wrote the story of it for you to read?
In all that, I suddenly began wondering about Paul. Biblically, he seems like a tower of strength. Forget "ask a ninja" I'd be asking an apostle. But I wonder what he thought when he laid his head to the ground to sleep?
Did he tell God he was sorry, that he must have not presented the message right and that's why they wanted to stone him? Did he fret that maybe he'd been cowardly for running away leaving Silas and Timothy behind, when the people tried to kill him? Was he trembling inside when he took a deep breath and confronted Peters attitude towards the Gentiles?
Did he lay down at night and weep each time he met another Christian that was motherless or fatherless, widowed or orphaned, all because in his previous life he'd ordered their loved ones death? When he put his ink to parchment did hesitate before sending his letters? Did he agonize if he was really the one that should be writing to churches and correcting individuals?
Did he make statements about salvation and then the first moment he was alone pray that he'd spoken correctly? Did he ever just weep because the people he fought with the most were the ones that claimed to be Christians?
Or was he really just as strong, and as sure as he seems?
It's easier to hope that he questioned. Because Christians don't talk about how often they doubt, how often they're afraid, how often they wish they could just give up the fight. And since no one talks about it, you assume that you're the only one.
I remember on days when it seemed like my niece just couldn't quit talking that my brother would have her quote a memory verse he'd made her learn once her gift of gab merged with her "I know more than you" attitude. The verse was just the first part of Proverbs 17:28 Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise:
We follow this rule religiously in our churches. So we wait for someone that is better versed in the scriptures, someone that seems to pray more than we do. Someone holier, someone more righteous. Someone less afraid of doing the right thing. We do this, lest we stop holding our peace, and thus prove that we are fools.
And that's why I wonder about Paul. I'd like to envision that he laid down each night in a cold sweat.
At least then I wouldn't be the only one.