Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Confession and My Manifesto

There are two amazing Jens shedding light into my life today.

First of all, Jen Lemen - who leaves today for her nine day journey to Rwanda. Those of us who are praying people (and aren't we all?), need to pray not only for her safety, courage, and strength, but also for her husband and two children who will stay behind in Maryland until she returns. Traveling mercies to her.

And then there is Jen Gray. Please read her post before you read any further here. Simply click on the title link for this blog, read her words thoughtfully, and then come back here.

This is my confession and my life manifesto this Sunday afternoon.

I am no better
no more spiritual
no more talented
no more powerful
than anyone else.

I struggle
I am critical
I am laden with prejudices
I cry at inopportune times
I get angry at the ones I love
I get impatient with the ones who love me

I want a whole lot of what I cannot have
I want to get rid of a whole lot of what is mine to bear

I worry
I get jealous
I get depressed
I feel inadequate
I wonder and worry about what I think others think of me

I have an enormous supply of emotional baggage
that I try unsuccessfully to cram into
the miniscule storage compartment
in and above my head
and a bathroom scale I want to hit with a hammer on a weekly basis
- I am neither brave nor curious enough to check it daily.

I have made 250,000 poor choices in the last few years
for which I have made 350,000 excuses.

I have an incurable addiction to falling in love
and subsequently breaking my own heart.

Just because I dress the part of the mature mom
in my modest skirts, simple tee shirts,
and flats with little bows on the front
that is no indication that I am either mature or modest.
In fact, I am frightfully childlike in many ways,
endlessly hoping that everyone will like me,
and really the furthest thing from modest.

But I know what makes me feel alive
and what makes my spirit feel free.

(Case in point: I long to follow Jen Lemen's example and fly all over the world
with untameable love, unspeakable joy, and countless parcels of peace.)

I long to exchange the dark, damp messiness inside me
for more grace, for deeper peace, and brighter light.
I want to assist in healing and loving
everyone I meet however -
in whatever tiny or gigantic ways -
I can.

I have not only fallen, but also leapt
into deep pits of shame, fear, and sorrow
many more times than I have leaped gracefully over them.

But when I love, it's really big
and when I laugh, it's really loud
and when I choose you as a friend, it's for life

I know how to seek light and courage
even in the midst of the worst, darkest, most violent storms.
And, Lord knows, there are lots of storms these days.
So very many.

But really, truly, honestly,
I am no different than anyone walking on this planet,
all of us trying to do the best we can
with what we've got.
Seeking answers to our many questions.
Seeking faith to counter our many doubts.
Seeking forgiveness for our many wrongs
and the ability to forgive those who have wronged us.

I make mistakes daily but
I really do try.

And I know you really try too.

Thanks again, Jen Gray, for your beautiful, gentle
always inspiring words.


Amy said...

Amen, Gail! and as I always utter before communion and daily: "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word, and I shall be healed."

Jena Strong said...

Love this.

Lori said...

Love your honesty, Gail
You are an inspiration to me
I am blogging more and enjoying it
And I have been reading more blogs too. I too enjoy the Jen's blogs they are very interesting and inspiring also. Have a great day!!!

Anonymous said...

love you !

Ella said...

I say that every day. Some people test us more then others.

I try and when our hearts are read by God we will answer for what we have done to hurt others.

God knows we are imperfect beings.
So we all belong to the same club.

I cry, I wail, I get angry at people who persist in invitint trouble to their door steps.

You try to be their friend and you can't.

Loving one another doesn't mean God expects us to be door mats. We have to be true to ourselve the good parts and bad alike.

This was right on the money.

In friendship and love,