New Life Grows in Secret

The Youth of Our Lord
John Rogers HerbertThe new life grows in secret.  Nothing startling happens.  We see the child in the carpenter’s workshop.  He does not go outside the frontiers within which he appeared.  It did quite well for him, and will do quite well for us.  There is no need for peculiar conditions in the spiritual life…We get notions sometimes that we ought to spring up quickly like seed on stony ground; we ought to show some startling sign of spiritual growth.  But perhaps we are only asked to go on quietly, to be a child, a nice stocky seedling, not shooting up in a hurry, but making root, being docile to the great, slow rhythm of life.  When you don’t see any startling marks of your own religious condition or usefulness to God, think of the baby in the stable and the little boy in the streets of Nazareth, the very life there that was to change the whole history of the human race.  There was not much to show for it.

—From The Light of Christ by Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941)