Have you ever simply looked around and realized that when you open up and let God have [Their] way with you, you see humbling experiences all around?
That experience could be a friend who loses a child, a students’ mother who has cancer, a friend who is honest about her theological struggles, or a significant other who works hard even in the face of adversity. And somehow, they all seem to handle it with so much more grace than you think you ever could. They seem to dance and swirl in and around these adversities while you plod and thud and generally make a mess of navigating the obstacle course. You trip; they glide. And that’s just how it is. But you recognize it and are humbled by the grace of it all.
Maybe the experience comes in the quirky voice of a young pastor who encourages you to figure out who you really are, and who equates the story of our lives to writing, reminding us that it’s character that drives the story. “Plot grows out of character,” says Anne Lamott. If you have no character, you have a bad plot. What is your character? How is it shaping your plot? Our plot?
Maybe the experience comes in a class in which you feel you don’t belong, but the professor reminds you that you, too, are a teller of truth. You still feel desperately inadequate, and you hope, beyond hope, that you might actually write something that makes you feel less so.
Maybe the experience comes when you learn that people don’t perceive your actions the way you intend for them to perceive them, that they don’t get who you are and what you are about. They don’t understand that more than anything else you respect all of humanity, trying each day to see Jesus inside each body, each heart, each mind.
Maybe that experience comes when you have such an intense respect for others you have a physiological response to homelessness that isn’t pity, but something deeper that you can’t name. Your heart doesn’t break, but you wish that instead of learning from them, you could find something inside yourself to teach.
Maybe these experiences happen all around you, all the time, but you just can’t see them unfolding. Maybe you are so caught up in making your story work that you can’t see the things God is trying to make work for you. That is who I am most of the time, but I am trying to see God’s hand in it, and I am working to let God write my story, and I am seeking to be the character I think I am meant to be. And it’s humbling.
This isn’t the most exciting video, but I think the words go well with how I am feeling right now.
I am thankful for finishing another draft.
Food: banana, juice, oatmeal, chocolate milk, cookies, rice noodle soup, granola bar, diet 7-Up, rice crackers, two pieces of pizza and bread sticks, Taddy Porter
Exercise: walked the dogs, walked home from church, ran 3 miles, rode bike from RB to church
Seeing the crowd, Jesus went up on the mountain and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. Blessed are those who are poor in spirit, for their is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for the they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets before you.