Tuesday, August 05, 2003

A daunting query for me: written for REBORN listserv

The gang at REBORN can often be the ones who ask the daunting questions. Someone there asked one today, that I was daring enough to answer.

Here it is:

Peace and good, y'all.

[Name] asks:

>Here's a question for the list. What's your greatest
>sin, and how has God been faithful to help you move
>beyond it?

I'm a packrat. I'm not talking about house-junk, I'm talking about heart-junk. I hang onto aggravation and frustration, mull them over, give myself a big case of the guilties over them, start working on a well-earned ulcer..... when I'm supposed to be forgiving and letting them fall from my hands, not stashing them. Forgiving others is easy, forgiving myself a monumental task. Others are sheltered in the mercies of God, but I'm supposed to know better, after all these years I'm supposed to be beyond this or that.....tying myself in knots with ought-to's and supposed-to's and you-dratted-idjit's and how-could-you-be-so-stupid's.

I've been in this battle for as long as I can remember. I've come to recognise the symptoms quicker, and now that I'm getting old I've got lots of experience at forcing myself to drop whatever it is this time that I didn't or couldn't or that was spectacularly stupid. And I've learned to run, not walk, to somewhere someone where it's safe to say it out loud; a good confessor if I can, an experienced 12-stepper if I can't get out. Secrets bind and kill; make the trial not a secret and it loses a lot of its power. Embarrassment liberates in the long term.

And, there always seem to be gifts about just when they're needed. The right person just when they're needed. A piece of the Scriptures wandering through. A testimony, a news story, even unlikely words like the Dear Paul Letter, become most precious gifts.

I'll likely be fighting this fight, perfectionistic determinedly independent creature that I am, all the way till on my deathbed. But I know who is fighting this one with me, and that he will make sure that I arrive at the finish line suitably empty of all that hoarded heart-junk, if I only keep cooperating with the plan.

karen marie
Truth and Love are wings that cannot be separated,
for Truth cannot fly without Love,
nor can Love soar aloft without Truth;
their yoke is one of amity.
-----St. Ephrem, Hymns on Faith

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