Other Writings

The good thing about weakness

Thomas Merton writing the importance of our limitations and our need for each other.


We will see that we are human, like everyone else, that we all have weaknesses and deficiencies, and that these limitations of ours play a most important part in all our lives. It is because of them that we need others and others need us.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

I have so many thoughts about this I hardly know where to start. So I’m going to start with something you may see as completely unrelated, a TED talk by Kent Hoffman. I encourage you to watch it – it’s just under 20 minutes long.

Apart from the fact that Hoffman refers to Thomas Merton as one of his “major mentors” and quotes him, the talk doesn’t seem to have much to do with the passage quoted above. But the talk immediately jumped to mind, and I’m INFP enough to trust there’s a connection…somewhere.

And now it comes to me. Until we let go of our self-sufficiency dream; until we reach our WTF moment; until we admit we need the help of others…until then, we are not in a posture to ever know our God-given infinite worth. As long as we live as though our value depends on what we do or say, how we act or look, what we have or give, we can’t know the value of our souls, naked and alone.

The souls God set out to bless in his plan of sheer goodness.

The worth Hoffman talks about seeing in each person and in ourselves, each a “gate of heaven”, if we are willing to look.

The ones Merton says we need and who need us, all limited, all weak, all deficient…all of infinite worth.

Grace and peace to us all…


Photo by dw


One reply on “The good thing about weakness”

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