God can’t use Ivory Tower Christians


“…You want to know why stark evil hasn’t made me rough or bitter?

…it was God who was prying the little girl’s hands off her eyes. As if He were saying, ‘I can’t use ivory-tower followers. They’re plaster of paris, they crumble and fall apart in life’s press. So you’ve got to see life the way it really is before you can do anything about evil. You cannot vanquish it. I can.


This quote is from one of my favorite books, Catherine Marshall’s “Christy”.

The character who says this is an older missionary (Ha! Which is why I can relate) counseling a younger missionary.

I’ve been musing a lot about this the past few days. Maybe because the last 2 weeks I have had many conversations with people — most of them students — whose stories, incidentally, are the stuff Filipino soap operas are made of. Oh, the drama. The sickening, sad drama of it all is just… depressing and sometimes horrifying.

I’d like to say that my eyes are already wide open, but the longer I live and the more I talk to people, the longer I discover that I still have fingers left on my eyes. My eyes are still half-closed, unwilling to stare at life’s mess. But I’m not naive. My twenty one years on earth so far are not enough, I know,  to take in all the evil in the world today. I am fully aware that more people, younger even, have seen much worse.


In one way or another, we’ve all acted like ivory-tower Christians. That, I think, is one of the saddest things. Jesus sent His disciples to the broken, the pained, the sick, the outcasts. We are supposed to go to them. Help them. Love them.

God has been opening my eyes, despite my resistance. He’s been reminding me, that if I keep my eyes closed to evil, I keep my eyes closed to God’s miracles as well.

And I miss how God can use me to counter this evil.

I do not want to miss that.

God can’t use Ivory Tower Christians. He needs workers willing to roll up their sleeves and get dirty — figuratively and sometimes, literally.

What do you think?

How have you experienced God prying the fingers off your eyes?


2 responses »

  1. Amen, Sarah. I cannot agree more. May we all learn to come down from our ivory towers and follow our Lord Jesus who went so far down His own majestic throne. I sense you wrote this straight feom your heart and deep musings. I haven’t read “Christy” yet though I think I watched part of its screen adaptation.

    • Oh kuya, I’ve been exposed to such heartache (from students’ stories) that I couldn’t help but grieve for the victims of evil. Pero ayun, God keeps reminding me that He desires redemption, and that I can be a part in that.

      I think Christy is worth reading, you should check it out! 😀

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