Discerning Church Learning to discern the movement of God's Spirit

Small Enough

Nichole Nordeman wrote a song entitled Small Enough. In the song, she is seeking an accessible encounter with God. She asks,

Oh, great god, be small enough to hear me now . . .

Certainly, we desire an approachable God who is able to relate on our level. We often experience God’s grandeur; sometimes we need his intimate touch.

This morning, I was reading Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals. Shane Clariborne describes Therese of Lisieux. She prays for a different kind of small.

Therese of Lisieux, a nineteenth-century Carmelite who sought to follow Christ’s “little way,” wrote, “The only way to make rapid progress along the path of divine love is to remain very little and put all our trust in Almighty God.” (p. 241)

She is not asking God to be small; rather her prayer is that she would remain small. What does she intend? Therese of Lisieux prays for humility and strength to keep her pride in check. Clariborne leads his readers in this prayer.

Lord, teach us to dwell in the corners and crevices, to find an abundance of your love in those pockets of our lives where the poverty of our abilities crowds out our pride and ego. Amen. (p. 241)

May we learn to be small. You might remember John the Baptist’s statement concerning Jesus.

(John 3:30 NIV) He must become greater; I must become less.

May this be our prayer. I think Therese of Lisieux sought the right posture. She understood the importance of being very little. As we discern God’s leading, we must continually decrease, reduce, curtail our agendas in order to live in God’s agenda.