The Relief of Not Having to Explain Yourself

Harvard Law School, NW Corner Building, WCC

So many things on the mind, so many questions to express, but always the difficulty in pouring out the thoughts in a satisfactory way.

One thing that makes me happy about God is that He already knows everything that happens in my life, down to the minutest of details, and including the thousands of little thoughts and inclinations that dash all around my mind and heart. What I mean is that it’s a relief not to have to explain to Him the reasons I think such-and-such, or to muddle through the work of describing a particular habit (or thought, or question, or desire) that perplexes or confuses or troubles me. In life, with other people, I often find it to be just too much work to explain something in the way I want to explain it—because it becomes a near-impossible task, trying to outline every nuance that will unambiguously illuminate the thing I’m trying to get at in the mind of the person I’m talking to (especially if the thing is important to me). The result is that, many times, I just avoid the topic altogether, and allow it to keep floating on in the private cavities of my thoughts. You see, even now I’m encountering the problem I speak of—because here I am, trying to articulate this property of God that makes me so happy, and I feel I’m not really expressing the idea well at all. Ah, but the effort is valiant in itself, no? Anyway, I guess what it boils down to is that it’s simply a relief to be known so entirely, so completely and thoroughly, by another Person, and to know that the intentions of your heart are understood, even amid the clutter of innumerable words, behaviors, gestures, and thoughts that would lead anyone else astray. This applies both when the hidden phenomena are good, and when they’re bad. (Because, indeed, there can be great freedom in letting your imperfections be disclosed, without buffer or polish or half-knowledge, to someone else.) And then, of course, there’s the beautiful fact that none of this—none of the tortuous confusions or stubborn bad habits—manages to surprise God; nor do these things ever provoke Him into accepting you even a little bit less. His calm acceptance of you gives you the steadiness and courage to, in turn, be calm and accepting with yourself. And if that’s not relief, I don’t know what is.

P.S. I wrote this entry while sitting in the student commons (just off the dining hall) of the Harvard Law School. I’m not a law student, but the building is nice and the food is good! See photo of fancy reading room, above (credit).