OK, I promise – no more from Priests to Each Other after this! If you want more, you can buy the book. (There are lots of cheap, used copies available on the internet.)
Living between [the] comings and goings of [Messiah] was enough to break a man. It still is. Who knows around what corner he will run head-on into some demand from Messiah? Who knows in advance which hymn, which set of eyes, or touch, or prayer will bear some new word of command from Messiah? A man has to be braced for this. If he can go meeting Messiah on any road; if any human voice can bear His call; if he is liable to keep on appearing to His own – a man had better be careful!
It is like waiting for the other shoe to fall. It is like living in terror of sharp corners lest you meet someone coming breakneck on a bicycle. It is terribly disconcerting and demanding to have Messiah – and no schedule. So much better, we say, if we could have kept him in his grave, or on the cross, or at least in the church where we could send for him when we want him. Or, modestly enough, we could keep him in the Supper’s bread and wine, wrapped in napkin and chalice, lest he get loose in the town and choke us all with his demands on the neighbor. That unpredictable and off-schedule coming is terrible.
The early community had to learn to live between the times of God’s appearing. As they learned, several conditions of any coming became clear:
He never came and stayed long enough to take away their responsible initiative.
His manifestations of power never came as long as they had any strength of their own.
His coming never gave them a permanent advantage.
So they learned to live with, and wait for, his appearances. (from Priests to Each Other, pp. 103-104)