I don’t think Jesus was humble. I really don’t. If I met him today, humble is probably not something I would take away as a first impression. Now, before you start quoting Philippians 2:6-8 or Romans 15:3 to me, let me explain. I believe that our understanding of humility is so skewed that, were we to meet Jesus, many of us would come away saying that he was arrogant and presumptuous. Why do I think that? I’m glad you asked!
How do I know if the person I’m with is the one I’m supposed to marry? Or, to Christianize it, how do I know if this person is God’s pick for me? What if I make a mistake? What happens if I miss the person that God is preparing for me? How do I know?
In a recent episode of The Big Bang Theory, Raj struggles with this same question. He has been dating Emily for a while, but another girl walks into his life that he is drawn and attracted to. Should he break up with his girlfriend and pursue a new relationship?
“Anytime the world sees you as just one thing, it’s exhausting, because you aren’t just one thing, and it’s very difficult to have to constantly meet someone’s expectations. Someone’s simplistic, less than complexly-human definition of personhood, is exhausting to have to live inside.”
– John Green
There’s an unavoidable, honest, deep-felt sigh that follows when someone finally says, “You look tired.” It’s as if your soul, delighting in being finally uncovered, joyously betrays the ‘I’m good’ lie you just spoke in obligatory reply to the ‘Hello’ with which you were greeted. Our personal rat-races are built on such deceptions – meant to convey sincerity and care, but mostly just regulated to the realm of polite, social etiquette.
Productivity, my Stockholm lover;
Verily, your name is weariness.
This past week, I spent four days on a Spiritual Retreat. That might sound super lofty, but it was really just four days alone at a Christian retreat centre. I’m blessed to have a job that gives me spiritual retreat days every year, but this is the first time I’ve used them.
I had one main goal when in going: to reconnect with Jesus. God spoke to me back in March, informing me that I neither loved Him nor understood His love for me. Wow. That was a shocker. Like, hit-you-between-the-eyes shocker. Jesus can be a no-holds-barred kinda guy at times. So my hope was to rekindle that divine romance (and avoid a few more punches).
This morning, I did something I’ve never done before: I cried for an actor.
I’m not one to follow celebrity gossip or obsess over the lives of Hollywood stars. I’m not even one who’s overly excited to get autographs from the stars who’ve played my favourite television and movie characters. And unlike a friend of mine, I don’t have a list of the young and famous that I pray regularly for (though perhaps, more of us should). But this morning, while eating breakfast, I found myself crying and I didn’t know why. I prayed about it, and realized, I was grieving.
The news of Robin William’s death by suicide last night crashed through the internet like a storm. For many of us, though we didn’t ever meet him or talk to him, he held a special place in our hearts. In his roles as John Keating (Dead Poets Society), Mrs. Doubtfire, the Genie (Aladdin), Hunter Patch Adams (Patch Adams), and many more, Williams didn’t just steal the show; he stole our hearts. He gravitated towards roles that called out our hearts’ desire for love and beauty and passion and joy and acceptance.
As a kid, I loved getting the Saturday comics. Like most kids, I didn’t read them in order; the Magic Eye (a stereogram) was one of the first I looked at. I was one of those lucky kids who figured out how to see the 3D image or text buried inside. It’s a little tricky and counterintuitive if you’ve never been able to do it. Essentially, you need to look past what’s right in front of you. The image is there; it’s just not visible when we look at in the “normal” way.
So much of truth and life is buried right before us, hidden in plain sight. What if our understanding of spiritual things is hindering us from seeing the truth?