Recently I was standing on the stage floor of the amphitheatre in the ancient city of Phillipi.
Within the 50 or so square feet where I was standing, Paul would have been one of many whose blood would have soaked the soil centuries eariler released by the ripping force of bone-laced whips.
I never identified much with Paul. He represents for me the bold, in-your-face, driver personality, love-him-or-hate-him type.
I’ve always tended to identify more with the classic portrait of the apostle John — head on Jesus’s chest and comfortable with the nickname “beloved.”
In that moment of standing where individual courage (nurtured in community) met systemic hatred (nurtured in culture), I found myself believing something that I think that Paul believed.
I believe that greatness is not a state of personal affairs meant solely for high-achievers and seed of royalty.
Rather, greatness is a normal state of affairs for the human being – living an expansive and generous life both in public and in private.
We are “indisputably bent” as Shaeffer put it, but greatness remains indigenous to the Image within.