As I write this, it’s two days before I’m scheduled to post here. I’ve had my monthly piece written for a couple of months (because I’m organized like that), and I logged on at the beginning of this week to schedule it. I copy and pasted it into the Blogger template, tweaked formatting and the necessary behind-the-scenes things, and did a final read through and edit. And something about it bugged me.
I wondered if the message I wrote was the message I wanted to deliver, or if I should redo it. What might I say instead? Was there time to write something else?
This morning, on what’s known as Ash Wednesday, I’m thinking about contrition and humility, and those things I try to do but struggle against, and I see what it was that bothered me about that post. It was about me, and us, and the things we’re prone to spend time chewing on if we’re called to write because, after all, we write and share our words with the intention and hope that they can be used to glorify God, and benefit another. We have to get them out there.
Ash Wednesday hasn’t been part of my faith tradition but I’m paying more attention to the Christian calendar, and the wisdom of the ages as it pertains to my faith because I think there’s something good there. I won’t go to church to have ashes smudged on my forehead this morning, but I sit still in my devotional time and think about the reason behind this tradition that leads into the period of Lent.
I don’t know much, but I know I need to lean hard into grace. I know I’m too quick to make life about me, and that the me I make so much of is as dust. I make a wallpaper for my phone with a prayer to remind me: create and make in me a contrite heart. I return to it throughout the day until it becomes mine so it will remind me throughout the forty-day season of reflection that I need a good measure more of contrition and humility, and a good measure less of the other.
I return to Blogger, and that other post that was about doing the good work of using what God has given us to glorify Him and point heads and hearts toward the Creator. There’s nothing wrong with it on the surface, but I think maybe we’ve all become a little too focused on making a difference, rather than being still and letting contrition and humility do its work in us.
I take it down, and I sit in the silence and solitude of my office and tap out some different words. I write about going low and letting the work be done in me. It chafes, because it’s meant to, and because it’s a work that I know needs to be done.
Linda Hoye is a writer, photographer, gardener, and somewhat-fanatical grandma. She lives in British Columbia with her husband and their doted-upon Yorkshire Terrier, but she’ll always be a Saskatchewan prairie girl. She is the author of Two Hearts: An Adoptee’s Journey Through Grief to Gratitude. Her work has been included in two anthologies, as well as assorted online and in-print publications. She loves Moleskin notebooks, multi-coloured index cards and sticky notes, Uni-Ball 207 gel pens, and soy milky frothy coffee. Find her online at www.lindahoye.com where she ruminates about life and faith every day.
"The me I make so much of is dust." Wow. So powerful and so true. Let us make much of our Lord God Almighty instead. The glory belongs to Him.ReplyDelete
Amen and amen, Susan.Delete
My elderly mother is declining. 2 months ago she was driving. Then she had a hospital stay and fell off the proverbial cliff. As we kids serve her needs, helping her to remain at home under hospice (what loving people these hospice staffers are!!!) I am struck by how my perspective is changing. Control is an illusion, and age is a blessing, not something to try to avoid. "I lean hard into grace." So beautiful! I feel a blog post coming on.
Hi Lynne, I'm sorry about your mom. It's so hard walk with our loved ones through the gradual decline and yes, our perspectives are sharpened through the journey. I love your ongoing conversation about aging. As you say, "age is a blessing, not something to try to avoid."Delete
Hi Linda. Thank you for such a reflective message. As an Eastern Orthodox Christian I appreciate what you say. I find your final paragraph so meaningful. You say, "...I sit in the silence and solitude of my office and tap out some different words. I write about going low and letting the work be done in me. It chafes, because it’s meant to, and because it’s a work that I know needs to be done." In Orthodoxy such words are part of life. In contemplating these words such disciplines as Confession, Forgiveness, Resurrection spring to my mind. I too am dust yet loved by the One we serve. I enjoy what you write for us in our blog. Keep on writing! :)ReplyDelete
I have come to believe that we can glean wisdom from looking at the Christ-focused traditions of others. We are, as you say, dust, but oh-so-loved by the One we serve. Thank you for your encouraging wordsReplyDelete
I find your thoughts valid and compelling, Linda. Sometimes, even as writers, we get so busy doing our writerly thing that we forget God made us human beings instead of human doings. I agree with your statement: ". . . I think maybe we’ve all become a little too focused on making a difference, rather than being still and letting contrition and humility do its work in us." In Psalm 46:10, we read, "Be still and know that I am your God." Sometimes even our pens need to be silent.ReplyDelete
I am presently reading, "a life of being, having, and doing enough" by Wayne Muller as I know I have much to learn in the area being still in God's presence. Muller quotes Gandhi as saying, "There is more to life than increasing its speed." In a strange way, this could also say, "There is more to life than (even!) increasing our writing."