I like to be strong.Confident, competent, able.
Helen Reddy in my head since 4th grade. I am Woman . . . I am invincible.
I can bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan.
Ask if I need help and I become more determined to do it myself.
I am independent to a fault.
And I will work myself into an ulcer.
* * * * *
The breaking was just as much for me as it was for him.
I see it now. I saw it then.
But my eyes are are slow to turn the image upright. . .
A friend reminded me this week: we say we are concerned about what’s best for THEM, but we’re really concerned about what’s best for ME.
Addicts, she means.
Addicts don’t just one day wake up and said, You know what? I’m done with this life. I’m going to be a new person now. And then the pain ends.
But we so hope they will. And we so hope it will.
We pray for them to make right choices. We pray for miraculous healing . . .
Sometimes, it takes years of prayer to finally come to see.
Because truly admitting you need help means you have to be broken.
. . . and broken involves suffering.
* * * * *
It is agonizing to watch self-destruction.
. . . sometimes we draw hard lines . . . sometimes we tell them to suffer somewhere else . . . sometimes we are ready for them to be broken.
But sometimes, we forgive and cover and scold and give books to read and phone numbers of people to call and lecture and pray and forgive and cry and scream and flail and forgive and weep and beg and block doors and take away car keys and suspect and make phone calls and plead and make them go to the pastor and make them sign and believe and hope and accidentally discover and confront and forgive and cry and pray and discover again and lash out and yell and beg and pray . . . Love believes. Love hopes. Love endures. Bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh, my life.
Until we are ready to be broken. Broken more.
To throw ourselves at Jesus’ feet and admit we are powerless to control.
Save me from furious rage, from appeasing, from excuse-making, from micro-managing, from holier than thou, from I can do this by myself, from this reflects so poorly on me . . . from fear of suffering.
Until pride is stripped away and I realize. Until I admit that I am powerless to control . . .
* * * * *
Blessed are the poor. . .* Jesus said.
Blessed are the poor in spirit. (Matthew 5:3)
“Blessed are the people who feel keenly their inadequacies and their guilt and their failures and their helplessness and their unworthiness and their emptiness—who don’t try to hide these things under a cloak of self-sufficiency, but who are honest about them and grieved and driven to the grace of God,” says another.*
Happy are those who know that they are spiritually poor.*
Blessed are the broken.
* * * * *
I prefer to forget broken.
But Jesus reminds me.
Broken is how He opened His first sermon. On a mountain, like Moses: I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt. You shall have no other gods before me.*
I did not bring myself out of Egypt. I did not bring Dave out of Egypt. I am powerless.
Broken is not a once I was. Broken is a place to come back to over and over and remember. Especially for the self-reliant. For the self-sufficient. For me.
You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ You don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference. Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.Revelation 3:17-20
God blesses those who realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them. Matthew 5:3