Monday, May 31, 2010

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

an elephant in my blog

I have an elephant in my blog. Something in real life that I can't blog about. Something that impacts a member of my extended family that this person has asked me not to share, but that has started consuming my life.

I have considered starting an anonymous blog to write about it, but there are so many sites out there about this type of elephant that I'm not sure what else I can contribute.

I don't think that this elephant is bad for this person. I think it's a good thing. This person simply doesn't see it that way. Yet. But since this elephant came to stay, I have noticed that we get along better, that we understand each other a little more. I am grateful for the elephant.

Sometimes, when you get to know a person or a thing well, you see things you didn't see before. You can call these things flaws, or imperfections, or you can choose to appreciate the nuances in the Lord's creation.

Psalm 139: 1-17

O LORD, you have probed me, you know me:
you know when I sit and stand; you understand my thoughts from afar.
My travels and my rest you mark; with all my ways you are familiar.
Even before a word is on my tongue, LORD, you know it all.
Behind and before you encircle me and rest your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is beyond me, far too lofty for me to reach.

Where can I hide from your spirit? From your presence, where can I flee?
If I ascend to the heavens, you are there; if I lie down in Sheol, you are there too.
If I fly with the wings of dawn and alight beyond the sea,
Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand hold me fast.

If I say, "Surely darkness shall hide me, and night shall be my light" -
Darkness is not dark for you, and night shines as the day. Darkness and light are but one.
You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb.
I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works!

My very self you knew; my bones were not hidden from you, When I was being made in secret, fashioned as in the depths of the earth,
Your eyes foresaw my actions; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped, before one came to be.
How precious to me are your designs, O God; how vast the sum of them!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

calling it like it is

We had a fight last week. Let us make no mistake: I was 100% wrong for being as thoughtless as I was. I was glad he told me about it because I need to know when I do things that hurt him so I can avoid it in the future.

My feelings were hurt in the exchange and I nursed this hurt that night and the next morning. It was hard for me to keep remembering that I was wrong. "He shouldn't have said it that way. He's restricting my freedom. I should be able to do and say what I want. He's being unreasonable." My conscience kept prodding me: "Remember that YOU were wrong. And you hurt him badly."

And as I drove in the car that morning, late to somewhere I really didn't want to be, the Lord blessed me with this realization: "This grudge that you so tenderly nurse is the evil one at work: undermining your relationship with your husband, your marriage, and your family. Your energy is misplaced."

With that, immediately, I said, "Get behind me, Satan. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I command you to leave me alone," and the hurt I had taken care of so well for those past 12 hours evaporated.

I praise God for the grace to see the trickery of the devil for what it is. The temptation to nurse that grudge came back over the course of the day, but the temptation and the grudge were not as strong and with the same prayer the Lord dismissed them quickly.

When you have a grudge you're taking such good care of, or anger that flares within you, be quick to ask yourself where it comes from. Is it building up love? Is it advancing the Kingdom of God on earth, as all of us baptized Christians are called to do? If it is not, then call upon the Lord to deliver you from the evil one, who is tempting you.

Make no mistake, the root of your grudge, your anger, is the evil one calling you away from your work. Recognize him and call upon the Lord to put him right back in his place.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

It's not easy to hear someone say: "I feel hurt because of X thing you did." It's hard to hear that and to see your fault plainly. It's humiliating to know that you hurt someone. It's humiliating to know that you're not perfect.

In that humilation, we can do one of two things. We can become defensive. "Well, you started it!" "I did that but you did this to me!" "Why are you yelling at me?!" Defensiveness is selfish. Defensiveness doesn't heal. Defensiveness makes it worse.

Or, we can recognize the humiliation for the good it can do: in this moment, with God's help, we have the power to change, the power to heal the relationship, the person whom we have hurt, and ourselves. We can say, "I'm sorry I did that. I am sorry I hurt you. I will do better next time." No excuses. We must acknowledge our weaknesses and resolve to do better in the future.

So very difficult to acknowledge one's humanity, yet so necessary.