If there is one person in Catholic circles I’d love to interview right now Elizabeth Scalia would be that person. Lest this seem a total fangirl post it is and it’s not for when someone writes about themselves presenting the dumbass things they do it would be her. I can be a bit of a dumbass myself and often proving said dumbassness with stuff posted on some social media channel. Elizabeth’s recent Word on Fire article Resisting the Great Christian Adventure had me nodding throughout, recognizing some of this in my own life/place/prayer life.
Perhaps the reason we sometimes get stuck in that swampy space between depression and acedia is because we try to stop the process of renewal; we fight it, hanging on to where we are (as though a season held dearly can extend into forever) because things feel scary and trust is hard, especially if we feel like we’re being urged toward becoming the something else God wants us to be. We put down the prayer books and the beads and hold back on participating in what comes next because what we know has begun to feel familiar and right to us, and thus comfortable.Elizabeth Scalia, Word on Fire Resisting the Great Christian Adventure see link above
Well, where is the Christian adventure in that? No wonder I was depressed.
So often when I begin to write there is a prompt that starts the words flowing from brain/heart to fingertips. In this case Elizabeth’s article, and some feedback I’ve received from others and weirdly examining how I’ve offered feedback to a couple of people lately wherein I wasn’t my best, remotely thoughtful, totally missing out and clearly not listening to the person in front of me in that moment. Ouch. And oddly enough I don’t want to say, “oh well I’m only human,” as this is dismissive and not self-reflective at all. To one I’ve apologized, to the other I’m not sure i can however give the opportunity I will. (Update – I checked in with one person and you’ll be shocked I’m sure – it wasn’t about me.)
This morning as I prayed, “Show me Lord where I should be going” the almost immediate response was, “Lord help me to see and hear You.” God is showing me, leading, prompting. Listening, seeing, going, responding, living in, is my Love response. Changing the prayer seems a small thing however it is a reminder that will be on the erasable board in full view of my desk.
I am in the process of building two drawer units to hold thread and notions. The drawer unit I had broke and bowed under the weight of thread and other things I had in there. I do know one thing about myself, writing quilt patterns isn’t something I do well for other quilters. I can edit, however the way I think and write patterns doesn’t work for most quilters. Correlatively I don’t follow other quilters patterns well because I’d rather have the information presented in a different manner, probably closer to the way I’d write the pattern. When I started the build I sat down and read the directions for the unit. Note there is one part of the build that would be better handled with two people. In reading, while I thought I’d read well I missed one thing and nearly chucked the whole thing out the window because I thought I’d broken a couple of parts. With a bit of work I got that part sorted out. (I think my Guardian Angel helped!) I reread and identified something I’d missed! It did make a big difference putting the screws in to help hold the thing together. I then spent the next twenty minutes sorting screws, nails and pitons. With one little change I have the major part of the build finished and can finish this one today. This also means I can build the second one because I know the basic steps, and will do things in a slightly different order.
This is further reminding me that God creates and loves each one of us uniquely and with something uniquely special in mind for each one of us. That while we’d like to have generic, well-written descriptions and directions for dealing with and working with people, for building up rather rather than tearing down our uniqueness, life experience, and relationship with God all preclude this from happening. This speaks to the change in the prayer, the return to the prayer open my eyes Lord, let me see; open my heart Lord, let me love; open my ears Lord, let me listen; open me so that I might hear, and see, and feel.
In order to go from the above image to this one:
I needed to stop, take apart, reread to see where I’d missed something and be willing to move on. I can assure you I was most uncharitable towards myself in that moment. And I resisted calling my Sweetie up here because, well I’m pride-filled, stubborn, and like any two-and-a-half year old I can do it myself!
And so as the prayer changes perhaps I might change, grow, listen more, hear more, ask more.