being reminded again

I found this in a journal entry from two years ago; it's almost exactly what I've been thinking again this past week (I even recalled the Bloy quote):

Lately I've been discovering that I've had my own sense of greatness that may also be misguided and not a real possibility for most. I'm not quite sure how to describe it. Leon Bloy's famous quote comes to mind: "Any Christian who is not a hero is a pig." I'm not exactly sure what he meant by "hero," but it brings to mind people who perform great feats, reformers, prophets, recognized "saints." Admirable, inspiring people. I've felt like one of those people at times in my life, but I find I'm feeling less and less like that now. And I wonder if that makes me a pig. Then I think of talking with the poor people who might come on retreats here and wonder if I really expect them to become heroes of the faith. I still do believe that Jesus announced good news to the poor (the anawim, who look to God in their need) that they are favored by God, chosen by God, his people, through whom God reveals himself to the world. That sounds to me like they are great in Jesus' eyes. But is this greatness the heroism I've been describing? Martyrs? Reformers? Prophets?

These words of Jesus come to mind:

"Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." (Mt 11.11)
John is perhaps the epitome of the "spiritual hero": prophet, ascetic, martyr, all in one. Yet Jesus says the "least in the kingdom" is greater than John...

I can't help but think that this "least" must include the "nobodies" of the kingdom of God. And the "least of these" described later in Matthew (25.31-46). The faithful poor, sick, strangers, not known for any great feats. Greater than John the Baptist.

It takes me back to my belief that the main concern of Jesus, and the most important thing in life, is faith, our complete dependence on God in all things. I think living by faith has indeed resulted in great feats that we admire. But it is not always so, and there is much in the life of faith that is not recognized as great feats. Even in the life of Jesus, where we see so many miracles and amazing words and actions, that was only the last few years of his life. The other thirty years—though they were still a perfect life, God on earth—they were not considered great or noticeable enough to even record.

A different understanding of greatness. A greatness that doesn't necessarily include the things we honor as spiritual heroism. The greatness of the nobodies who have God's eye and special care. The greatness of the least in the kingdom of heaven, who depend on God for everything, and are not admired or praised for it.