Khaderbhai once said that every virtuous act is inspired by a dark secret. It mightn’t be true of everyone, but it was true enough about me. The little good that I’ve done in the world has always dragged behind it a shadow of dark inspiration. What I do know now, and didn’t know then is that, in the long run, motive matters more with good deeds than it does with bad. When all the guilt and shame for the bad we’ve done have run their course, it’s the good we did that can save us. But then, when salvation speaks, the secrets we kept, and the motives we concealed, creep from their shadows. They cling to us, those dark motives for our good deeds. Redemption’s climb is steepest if the good we did is soiled with secret shame.

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A quote saved on Nov. 5, 2015.


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