Tuesday, September 22, 2009

who I am...

I want to say thanks again to Fr. Austin (ConcordPastor) for so graciously "running the ball," pointing people in the direction of last week's post based on my reflection at Mass.  I am amazed at the number of people who have commented either on his page or mine about that line I put in there, "Who you are is who you are in God and nothing more."  In one sense I am pleased that it struck a chord with people, but on the other hand it indicates that a lot of people find themselves being twisted out of shape by the impossible task of trying to forge an identity based on something other than that final ground.  My local community is reading a book entitled Living a Gentle, Passionate Life by Robert J. Wicks, a psychologist in private practice, and in it he includes a line from a colleague of his: "Every patient stared at long enough, listened to hard enough, yields up a child, arrived at from somewhere else, caught up in a confused life, trying to do the right thing, whatever that might be, and doing the wrong thing instead."  Well, I don't know about you, but that about sums it up for me...Walter Brueggemann gave a lecture a few years back to a group of pastors, talking about how we get "scripted" by whatever world we live in, and how the alternative storyline of the Bible offers us a different script.  At one point in the lecture he says, "The reason why I've published so much over the years is that I'm trying to overcome my narrative, and my narrative is, 'I'm a sh*t!'"  Apologies for the colorful metaphor, but it points to something for me: here is a world-renowned scholar, not only one of the most brilliant men I have ever known, not only one of the best teachers I am ever likely to have, but one of the most gracious men I have ever known, but still he can't get away from this gnawing sense of inadequacy.  We know all the right stuff in our heads, but we just can't seem to believe it, or to actually let it stay with us for more than five minutes, so we need to keep coming back to it again and again.  Mercy within mercy within mercy...

4 comments:

Mike J said...

...and through it all God still loves us...despite ourselves...He is there. That is what truly is amazing about our God!

Anne said...

Isn't it amazing...and there are days when I wonder if I am ever going to believe it. But little by little I am getting there, but only by collapsing into God's arms and not trying to figure it out on my own.

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St Edwards Blog said...

It is so true and yet so hard to live by - to fall deeply into that God who has loved us into being. In that ultimate surrender we then become who we really are. It is antithetical and it is the only way.

Fran