In this, I am a hypocrite

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Image(meme courtesy of:  http://www.manonfireforchrist.tumblr.com)

     So, yeah.  Somedays I do well, loving others and not letting my mouth get away from me.  And sometimes I. AM. A. Hot Mess!  I am emotional, passionate, hot-headed, opinionated and smackable on my worst days.  If I am to be honest, there are things that set me off or set the stage for my Hot Mess Mama days:  extreme heat, extreme cold, PMS, being rushed, feeling dismissed or disrespected, not eating healthy foods for a few days.  I’m like those pullback toy cars that a kid pushes backwards on the ground a few times, and then: LET ‘ER RIP! 

     In the moment, I feel justified in letting my emotions run away with me.  Especially if there is a legitimate, offensive thing that is said to me, that shouldn’t have been said; or done, that shouldn’t have been done.  In the moment, I feel like a super-hero swooping in to save myself.  BANG!  CRASH!  POW!  And verbally, I walk away dusting my hands off afterwards, thinking – they totally deserved that. 

     The problem is: I am a child of Christ.  I should be acting like Him when I am offended or when I feel hurt; I should simply say something that is soft, direct and loving, and then walk away.  I shouldn’t engage the other person in verbal sparring, as if they are my enemy.  I shouldn’t stay on the phone (or, help us all, on TEXT) for fifteen, twenty minutes in order to prove my point.  I should respond like Jesus (Luke 14:3) when he heals a man with dropsy (edema typically occurring in the feet or legs):  “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?”  And later: “If one of you has a son that falls into a well on the Sabbath…will you not immediately pull him out?”  These questions were meant to direct the Pharisees back to the point: that to operate from LOVE should be our goal.

     I am eagerly looking for Jesus to help me, heal me, fix me, soothe me, challenge me, and comfort me.  To show me how to not be a hypocrite.  To be a good P.R. person for Christianity.

     I am hoping that He will pull me from the well of my own self-righteousness, anger, need to be “right” or justified, or to selfishly win an argument.  I am hoping that each little discovery of where I need to be “tweaked” in order to be closer to God, will drive me towards Jesus and His answers.  I am seeing that each foray into Scripture mystically leads me towards answers that I need to wrestle with – like Jacob wrestling the angel (Genesis 32:24-30). 

     I am examining my conscience, to see where the work needs to be done; to be a critical examiner of my own motivations – and the consequences of my inadequacies in this area; do I look TOWARDS Jesus and take a quick inhale before I respond; do I use loving words to address hard issues, or is the verbal sparring something that I use to indulge my selfish whims?

     Jesus, reach down into the well and save me!  And self – my self – get out of your own way!

 

 

 

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The beginning of labor

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She stood at the edge of a cliff, dirt shifting, rocks sliding and bouncing, echoing to the bottom. 

Perched between life and death, riding an immortal fence, her body and brain fought a war against each other. 

It was a battle she had never before imagined was possible or probable, but seemed familiar, as if she had been born for this moment. 

She could imagine girding herself for war, protective armor sheathing her breast, her stomach, her thighs, her legs. 

Hard cold metal, protective but intimidating, the only means by which she could survive for this day, and the next. 

A light exploded in her head, a thread of humanity that connected her to millions of other women who had come before her, and would come after. 

It was a thread that connected her consciousness to her very marrow, each cell working in her body towards this moment.

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Okay, so I am a nerd.  Two of my favorite media “families” are the Star Trek enterprise and the Lord of the Rings movies.  I have a love of the fantastical, and a love of any story that beautifully dramatizes the fight between good and evil.  I think that is probably because in my own life, my personal story encompasses these elements.  I have always had a vivid imagination (which made me a prolific liar as a child – being scarcely able to distinguish between my real, everyday life and the life I imagined myself to have) and an ability – call it discernment – to distinguish between a good person, and a person who had dark or evil intentions.  I also have had experiences that could have seriously ruined me, could have turned me permanently bitter or jaded.  But GOOD PREVAILED, and I couldn’t let my joy be stolen!  My counselor in college once told me: “when you let your joy be stolen, you let the bad guy win” and I have never forgotten that.  Alan also taught me that pain cannot be buried: his interpretation of that was to find the “dead body” in my psychological house and to give it a proper burial, so that my past pain and hurt wouldn’t steal the possibility of a happy future.  That advice (and the hard work that I did personally and spiritually to give that body a proper send-off) saved my marriage; restored my joy; instilled a curiosity of understanding the battle between good and evil; and helped me rebuild my own psychological house so that I would have a good, solid foundation going forward.  It was Alan’s (and my husband’s!) small acts of kindness and love that led me out of personal and spiritual darkness, and I will be forever grateful.  Hopefully I will never forget that.  Thank you Gandalf for reminding me!