Patricia Hofer

Do not walk in God’s ways on someone else’s behalf.

For me, this Bambara wisdom from West Africa is telling us not to carry the burden for another person’s relationship with God. Recently I temporarily forgot that. I had gotten into looking at my writing through the eyes of readers, what they might need, what they might want, and what they might think.

What a relief from burden when I once again realized that my writing is a personal pilgrimage, a one to one relationship with the Lord. That is true for you as well. George MacDonald described this when he wrote, “Not only then has each man his individual relation to God, but each man has his peculiar relation to God. He is to God a peculiar being, made after his own fashion, and that of no one else. Hence he can worship God as no man else can worship him” (Unspoken Sermons, “The New Name”).

And in that “peculiar” or special relationship with God, no one participates as a role model or spiritual mentor, a spouse or a parent or a friend. God loves each of us uniquely and specifically. We’re His. As MacDonald wrote, “In every man there is a loneliness, an inner chamber of peculiar life into which God only can enter.”

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