When I Think I Could Do Better
Kingdom Come is my mantra, so I’ve been hard at it like holy work. Empty. Fill. Empty. Pour out. But this weekend, I found it nearly impossible to do while I listed out names for endorsements and made up a plan to sell a possible upcoming book. I really didn’t want to do it, and it has taken me days. Sometimes the Spirit really doesn’t just swoop in with a gust of wind and whisper into you like a funnel. Sometimes you just work because you’ve been told what to do, and I know that laying down the more business-minded parts of a book proposal is hardly sacrifice, but it has had me wondering how much of this Christian walk is doing the thing we don’t want to do. It’s all a laying down, and I’ve found myself back home to a messy house and to the rowdy hollering boys, and oh how I want to stand up and hold it all together and keep it all from breaking.
When I left for the weekend, the boys didn’t take their dirty clothes to the right place and other things were off-kilter. Imagine that with four boys in a house! Seth is very good at everything, but it’s just a different kind of good, so I stomped around about it this morning – as if order were something I’m actually good at keeping. I am so incredibly frustrated that things fall apart, and I’m not talking about how the doorknobs keep falling off. I’m talking about a friend whose family member chose to terminate a pregnancy. I’ve been the girl making that decision, but I want that child held. I am so sad in the weight of that.
Suddenly I realize all my disappointments are deeper, an idea that I could do better, even with how I know my best efforts amount.
In the kitchen floor right now among the pieces of broken uncooked spaghetti noodles is a cut-out donkey colored softly in pink and orange. Last night Ian had told me of it, how Jesus rode a donkey and the people waved their palm leaves because Jesus is the Savior. My Jesus on an ass.
In my readings and among our circle of friends, the topic of confession keeps coming up, so I thought I’d give it a serious whirl this morning. Turns out, my list was much longer than I had anticipated. A counsellor of mine always suggests that every single time we hand something over to God, especially in confession, we ask Him what He is giving us in place of the thing we’ve confessed. This morning my temper flashed hot, so in confession it went deeper to a root of bitterness, planted there by my desire for control. I’m not strong enough to pull it out. I know I can’t, so I asked that He do it. And what, Lord, will you put in place of my anger?
And plain as the sun lighting the room, the answer is
How is it that the least get to be the greatest? How is it? I act like I want it better sometimes, but then what of that baby, gone the same way my first went, and I know she is thrown away somewhere. Right-side Down God, You do not waste. You gave your own Child a belly button, strung Him from a woman and then hung Him up on a pole with foul-mouthed bastards. Low-down, gracious God, you have touched my ear, my thumb, and my big toe with Your own blood.