Patricia Hofer

Christians at the bottom of a well

DO NOT GAZE AT THE SKY FROM THE BOTTOM OF A WELL. This proverb appears to be about limiting our possibilities, something that often applies to us as Christians. Some of us may look up curiously, wanting to know about God. But then the limitless view of sky overwhelms us a bit. And any serious contemplation of the Lord’s promises and demands is an unsettling thing. Can’t Christ just leave us at the “bottom of a well” and help us down here?

Others of us don’t just dream about getting out of the well. We’re just sure we can accomplish it. So we zealously attempt to struggle and scramble up the wall by ourselves—only to fail and slide back time after time.

And yet, if we’re truly tired of being a Christian at “the bottom of a well,” there is a way out. Let go. Instead of trying to pull the Lord down into your life, allow Christ to pull you up into his. Then, as Thomas Merton wrote, “…the doors fly open into infinite freedom… You seem to be the same person and you are the same person that you have always been: in fact you are more yourself than you have ever been. You have only just begun to exist. You feel as if you were at last fully born (Dupré and Wiseman 451).

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