Friday, February 09, 2007

Poor in Spirit

It was quiet except for the sound of running water rinsing dishes in my sink. One glass, spoon, and bowl after another, I scrubbed and then dried, an assembly line of domesticity. For the most part, I was indifferent to the monotony of a chore whose repetition has permanently altered my once soft hands into living tools, blotchy and abrasive. It was ridiculous then, to all of a sudden feel a volt of happiness charge through fragmented thoughts and half-hearted contemplations. I smiled, impulsively, at my reflection in a steaming window, entranced by the frigid winter evening framed within in its borders. It took only seconds to douse the joy of my gift, as unexpected as a parrot in a cornfield, with suspicion. It is never enough for me, to feel and move on.

The exact same scenario of my calloused hands in a sink, washing dishes, has conjured up tears of frustration, longings for adventure, heart-wrenching despair, and calm satisfaction. As the owner of my personhood, I will not abide by such flagrant inconsistencies. And so I over evaluate, smudging with greasy fingers the high-gloss purity of each emotion. “I am evil.” “I am selfish.” “I am good.” I am obsessed with conquering my weaknesses using nothing but logic and a little elbow grease. A million of possible airbrushed circumstances, usually involving more time and money, fuel my ever-changing pursuits of fulfillment, with hope. Because it is wrong, all wrong, to live with disappointment.

I do pray, with words: “Here is what I need, trust me on this one.” I split my time between earth and heaven. Removing the filter of self-protection so adequately buffering the entire searing Truth from eating me alive, would give me no say whatsoever in the outcome of my life. How much wiser to spend a few years interpreting such extreme commandments? And so it goes, me defining impulses while wiping down dinner-stained countertops, in an effort to figure out, on my own, why the hole in this heart is growing larger, why everything and every person I toss into it is incapable of sewing it back together.

There are days when I wish for release. There are moments when my achievements feel heavy, like a burden. How am I supposed to carry this family, these goals, these pursuits of fulfillment, when my strength comes and goes without warning? Sometimes the ugliness is too obvious to camouflage with carefully selected words and smiles, and my own inconsistencies make me sick, sick enough to give up on myself completely. But aha! There I am, right where Heaven wants me: laid out on the table, too tired to resist. “Blessed are the Poor in Spirit.” Blessed are they who acknowledge they are nothing outside the context of Christ and His resurrection. Blessed are they who come humbly and empty-handed. Blessed are they who open their mouths, in faith, to swallow God, Himself, finding rest at last as shells of flesh and bone, encompassing Divinity.

“Lord have mercy,” the publican prayed, and this was the petition found pleasing in the eyes of God: no layers of expectations between he and his creator. What would it be like to rip out the filter and let Christ flow through me, undiluted, like the water flowing clean through the faucet in my kitchen sink? Am I ready to live life to its fullest by choosing to die, once and for all? Blessed are they who can find either happiness or sorrow in the frosted reflection of a window and accept them both for what they are, opportunities to praise God for his goodness.

1 comment:

Ser said...

Hi Molly,

Oh, the flashes of joy and the horrible despair that can come from the simplest of tasks! I love reading your posts, and am so impressed at the time you find to write. I'm trying over at my humble little blog.