Friday, February 4, 2011

"You Won't Feel a Thing. You Will Feel Very Intense, Acute Pain."

I found out yesterday that I have a horrible condition. Medical professionals call it a "rebellious spirit" - whatever that means. And don't you dare ask me to look it up! You people make me so mad!

You'd think that with all of the time I've put in to God stuff, reading my Bible, blogging and simply being holy, I wouldn't come down with a condition like this. I'm fuming.

I don't think the "doctors" know what they're talking about. I think of them as medieval blood-letters who are always telling me to "do this" and "and don't touch that." The power hungry Mongols. (Not that I have anything against the Mongols. It's a good idea never to have anything against a Mongol. I hear they can be unpleasant, so I make it a point to never upset a Mongol. Plus, they're really cute with their long mustache-beardy things and their little ponies.)

As I wrote a few blogs back, I'm in a season in my life where God is gently letting me see some of my real reflection in his mirror. It can be painful. So to lesson the pain I sort of squint at it and look sideways. Sometimes I even crab-walk up to the mirror, peering between my knees so my vision is more abstracted.

But what's up with this "rebellious spirit?" Where did he come from? I've always been so obedient, compliant and helpful! Who dares hint that I might have a rebellious spirit?

Umm, my Wife and my Mom for starters. They are nodding their heads along with the doctors and mumbling "I concur."

What am I to do with this "spirit?" What can the doctors do? I don't know.

Some of you may think I'm a jerk. I suspect you're right. The doctors tell me I also have slight-to-severe symptoms of jerkiness. On a scale of 1-10, they say I'm somewhere between 1-10.

But all humor and weird writing aside, this sin in my life is detrimental to those God's called me to love and care for, as well as to me.

I can echo the country music sentiment that we really do hurt those we love the most. In case you feel left out, I can love you too, so if I see you I'll try to hurt you. I'm magnanimous in my love! Or at least I've had a huge cup of coffee this morning and it has me feeling magnanimous. "Magnanimous" is such a great word!
But there is a bright side to finding out these horrible little things about me. It's that the doctor who's revealing them is fully capable of cutting them away and healing me. His prescription has been to ask me to begin to take steps towards reconciliation between others, Him and myself. He's slowly and surely putting me back together. And for this I am extremely grateful.

I've been reading a lot of Proverbs recently. Everyone who thinks this makes me extra holy should send me a little comment of admiration. I really appreciate those and promise that I will quickly confess my pride (I feel that the time in repentance is worth the pride). But in reading Proverbs there's a pursuit that the teacher describes over and over ... and over. It's the pursuit of wisdom - God's wisdom.
How am I to pursue wisdom unless I quit grabbing the Grand Surgeon's scalpel and playing doctor on my friends, my world and myself? An untrained man with a scalpel is an accident in the making.

That's why I am so glad that God is doing the surgery (I realize that I'm running willy-nilly from one metaphor to another in this blog. Sorry!). Not only is God cutting away these more apparent sinful patterns like my rebellious spirit, he's taking the very people in my life that I've hurt the most and using them to help in the process. Surprisingly, they're not cutting off my oxygen and handing him little vials of poison. It's because they really love me. They are a flesh and blood testament to the grace of God that I receive daily.

Sometimes, in my more lucid moments, I sit up on my patients bed and just stare in bewilderment at all the people in my room. I am really spoiled to have so many who care and love me.

Last night, as I was sitting across from a dear friend who's helping me face this mirror, I said to him, "I feel now that I am really loved by God, because God's people are loving me." This is truly "magnanimous!" This is Christ's body working the way it should be. And while I am disheartened by how long and how often I have taken this love for granted, today I am very, very grateful.


Ron Lowe said...

Magnanimous is a great word. Few things are as refreshing to me as seeing or receiving it. I see it in you. Enjoyed lunch yesterday. You're amazing.

Philip said...

I'm magnanimous?! Sweet. Thanks for giving me magnanimity, it feels great! I enjoyed lunch as well. Let's shoot for next week.