Theophane, a Cistercian monk residing at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado, tells a striking story that beautifully illustrates such letting go:
I saw a monk working alone in the vegetable garden. I squatted down beside him and said, “Brother, what is your dream?” He just looked straight at me. What a beautiful face he had.
“I would like to become a monk,” he answered.
“But brother, you are a monk, aren’t you?”
“I’ve been here for 25 years, but I still carry a gun.” He drew a revolver from the holster under his robe. It looked so strange, a monk carrying a gun.
“And they won’t—are you saying they won’t let you become a monk until you give up your gun?”
“No, it’s not that. Most of them don’t even know I have it, but I know.”
“Well then, why don’t you give it up?”
“I guess I’ve had it so long. I’ve been hurt a lot, and I’ve hurt a lot of others. I don’t think I would be comfortable without this gun.”
“But you seem pretty uncomfortable with it.”
“Yes, pretty uncomfortable, but I have my dream.”
“Why don’t you give me the gun?” I whispered. I was beginning to tremble.
He did, he gave it to me. His tears ran down to the ground and then he embraced me.
Looking for More Inspiration?
The Latest From Our Blog
Check out articles, featured illustrations, and book reviews on all different topics related to ministry.
At work, I am more than just a nurse. I am the hands and feet of God. … I am trying to be family to them. Faith is giving me strength to do that. The congregational response to this young woman’s testimony, spoken during an online worship service in the first months...
Who is David Beckham? Is he the self-absorbed, fame-seeking, Calvin Klein underwear model, husband of a former Spice Girl, always looking to be the center of attention? Or is he something else? Were the snapshots and the soundbites on television and the internet fair...
Have you ever been talking with someone, and as they listened, you felt like you were the only person in the room? The listener had no sense of needing to be elsewhere. They had no sense of needing to interrupt you. They simply listened. How did that feel? On the...