GRRR! I am so angry at myself, at the system, at the continuing unfairness of work to reward, at my own inability to control my emotions about this. I need a gift of grace. ‘Seek first the kingdom,’ you say. I must not have been seeking the kingdom very well, because “all these things” seem to be going to someone else.
I know, I have no room to gripe. I know I have been deeply blessed. What right do I have to be mad? Still, I must admit that I am mad. I have poured myself out on an altar whose god does not care.
The greater irony – that false god did not make me do it. Once I gave him the minimum, he stopped even looking. So, the waste I have made of myself is all my fault. Now, I can’t seem to gather myself back together enough to find what matters.
This world’s prince doesn’t care about fair. In fact, unfair suits his purposes much better. Fairness will never be achieved through his means. And from God, the true God, I do not want fairness. I want mercy. I want grace.
So, why can’t I shake loose from this burden of anger? I reach inside myself an try to pull it from my heart, but it is wrapped too tightly. I fear I will pull my heart out, as well, if I tug hard enough to dislodge it.
It is not just clinging to me, it is consuming me; feeding on my heart, crowding out all else from my mind and my spirit. It is a cancer which must be removed, even at the cost of my heart. So, I do pull it out, and, along with it, the unconsumed fragments of my heart, bleeding in its claws. I throw it from me as far as I can manage and then I slump to the ground in a heap. I am hollow inside. All my energy, all my effort drains out onto the ground in a puddle of red.
Then, the Holy One is beside me. She gathers me up in her arms, wraps me in a cloth and carries me to the well. She washes me, wraps me again in a clean towel and sets me on the ground before her.
“This is not a battle lost, she says. This is a fruitless battle ended.”
“Listen to my voice. I have a better struggle for you to enter in. Not a battle, but a dedication of effort to something better than the tasks that others have selected for you. Do not despair the efforts you have made, but do not trust them for the building of your life. Your life lies not in them, it lies in who I have called you to be.”
“And do not look for confirmation in comparison with others. Their path is different from your own. When you measure yourself, your success, by other’s standards, you are not measuring yourself at all. Such measures will never satisfy.”
With this, from another small towel, she unwraps a new heart. It is not like my old heart. Instead, it is a piece of her own heart that she gives to me.
“Listen. I have placed myself within you. Listen. You will begin to hear, to know, and then to follow.”
She turns to go. Then, almost as an afterthought she says, “Don’t worry about letting go of your anger. Let go, instead of your misguided heart. The anger clings so tightly to that, that when you remove it, the anger will be removed as well.” She smiles. “Listen for my heartbeat, deep within.” Then she is gone.
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