Those people mentioned by Peter and yourself are reminders of what we are called to be, and what, with His help, we can become.
Orthodoxy seems to me the only Christian teaching that brings together all the senses, and which makes sense; this life can be transformed for us by the love of God, and everything we do, and everything we experience can be part of the process of transformation - as long as we fix our minds and hearts on God, and as long as we love Him and one another.
Even though we have fallen away from what we are meant to be, He can bring us back - if we let Him.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)