Monday, March 4

Monday's Oxymoron: Writing About Humility

February came and blasted us.
as February is prone to do.
Winds of opposition.
A weeklong blizzard of misunderstanding.
It's the last hard push into Spring to make us alive again.
Death loves to whip its tail around while we crush its head.

The tapes in my head say: don't make major decisions in February.  Don't disengage, disavow, distort, disable, disband.  It's only the weathering of February.  It will pass.

When winter storms hit around here, snow pack below average, it's only a moment before the first person says, "We need it so bad."  We speak this need while it's all falling beautiful and white or days after when getting out is easier and we can make our own choices again.  But when shoveling happens two or three times in one day just to keep up, when slickness keeps us home, when we cancel conversations -- that's not the thought I choose.  Did I need this?

Perhaps yes:  my muscles thankful for the workout.  My children thankful for the yard's fresh canvas.  My calendar thankful for the rest.  When everything is falling all around I have to let all slide out of my hands and ask, "What has this storm brought?"

What do they all bring?

Perhaps the reminder that I don't have the market on assumptions.
Perhaps a different kind of desperation.
Perhaps a practice session of having less.
Perhaps something that I could not have done.
...Humility is not a thing that will come of itself, but that it must be made the object of special desire and prayer and faith and practice. (Humility, Andrew Murray)
I walked into Lent with three ideas: humility, detachment and generosity.  Generosity was going to be, hands-down, my favorite.  Detachment was necessary for generosity -- so I could hold my breath for 40 days while I gave.  But humility just sounded good.  I'm not sure I really wanted it to go beyond just living poor.

But that's what I have in front of me.  Pushed in by a storm.  Unsettled air.  Laying it out and holding out everything precious to me: my skills, my identity, my calling.  Offering them to be reshaped by the storm.  Left trusting, more detached.  More generous with my listening, and hoping, and unity.  Shoveling out wasn't fun.  There's still some frozen places to remove, but I can make it in and out again.  Grateful.  Dependant. and Free.

{Giving out of Poverty. Lent 2013}

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For two years I have had comments turned off as a discipline to write for myself. I'm seeing the other side. I just ask that you comment with grace.