My last post spoke about the new adventure I was on, training for the priesthood. You could call it chickens coming home to roost as many years of church nerdery made the pathway plain. When near–strangers started telling me they thought I was already a priest it was time to face reality.
Been a messy old time since then. Have to admit that saying yes to God has unleashed a new level of internal chaos, a sometimes harrowing reality check, as my ‘stuff’, my weaknesses and hangups and the like, has decided to parade through my mind, out of my mouth and into my behaviour like my own personal mardi gras, leaving trash, debris and hangovers in its wake. Old weaknesses have taken on new energy, former issues long buried turn out to be alive and kicking, and people I considered forgiven have been discovered still residing in the dark places of my heart.
So much for my yes to God. I clearly need a priest.
I also lost my innocence during this last year. I considered myself a woman of the world, with my carry-on bag of carefully-remembered slights, petty misdemeanours and immature actions of others against me. I had travelled a bit, and read a bit, and thought I knew a bit. Then God brought me up close with the results of deliberate cruelty, wilful brutality and calculated damage in a human life.
It took my breath away. Shut me down.
My words were too flimsy and brittle for the weight of it. I could not trust them to betray my own impotence. So I stopped writing altogether.
I was right. My words could do nothing. But God’s word? That was different. And that was his gift to me. To see God’s word salve, bring hope and give a measure of peace to abject grief and profound sorrow. To see my own words distract and confuse where God’s word invariably comforted, encouraged and embraced. Whether received or not.
So as John the Baptist said, I must decrease and God increase. Not to play-act piety, but to get out of the way so that he may be clearly seen and heard. To let others experience the word that brings life. That is life.