Monday, September 24, 2012

Falling into a Heap

Wow. Yesterday was a long time in coming. How do I even go about throwing this into words?

I think of Rich Mullins talking about how God is a wild man. Sometimes following the Lord feels like riding one of those mechanical bulls. But Rich gets to the paradox -- when one is in a situation like that, your instinct is to hold on for dear life. Cling in faith, stand firm, believe. But Rich gets to the point of what we actually need to do, and that is to let go for dear life.

I wrote recently about letting go of this situation with this friend of mine. That (insert rueful laugh here) was the easy part. That was but a sign of something deeper that was needed.

Yesterday I went to my second Carmelite formation meeting. I know this is where I belong and I trust this is where God has called me. I won't be able to say this adequately, but what I saw yesterday was my profound need for humility. And that part of that humility comes in not clinging, not standing, not believing -- at least not in a way that leaves every spiritual muscle I have strained to the popping point -- but in falling into a heap and needing the Lord to scoop me up.

Yesterday I fell into a heap, spiritually speaking. This time my husband had to be like Mary standing at the foot of the cross. Thank you God, that you always time these things when he is at home, because I cannot fall into a heap by myself.

I kept thinking of a scene that happened when I had begun to attend Mass but was still also attending the service at Risen Savior. One Sunday I happened to sit a few seats nearer to the music ministry than I normally did. We were singing John Michael Talbot's "Holy Is Thy Name," and after the first verse and the chorus repeats (we were accustomed to do many repeats), the head of music ministry handed me the mic and told me to sing the second verse. I guess he figured that as a Catholic wannabee, certainly I knew it. Which I did. So for the whole church I got to sing "He has cast down the mighty in their arrogance and has lifted up the meek and the lowly." To this day, the irony of that experience reverberates through me.   Every call to conversion I receive challenges my arrogance, my self-importance.

I like feeling important. I really do. But God's glory is breathtaking, and it is wiser to desire God's glory on His timetable over self-importance on mine. But I forget that. And I forget and fail to trust that He is real, and that this deal works. God keeps calling me, though. He does not get put off by my failures, and He is big enough to wrestle me to the ground and even pin me there until I come to the end of my strength so that I can feel the fact that my strength is like a fraction of a drop of water, compared to the mighty ocean of His roaring mercy.

Yes, I'm praying the novena to St. Therese right now. I wonder if it is significant that I received three beautiful red roses the morning before I even started praying it. Surely she is helping me to embrace spiritual childhood. Sometimes I think I've never been a child. Not yet, at least, but I'm getting there.

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