"Pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant too." -Richard Gillard
Last week we discussed vulnerability. I was moved by my fear of being wrong, my fear of making a mistake, my fear of being weak, and my fear of being less than perfect.
As I sang the words above in a song in church this morning I was moved again by my fears of weakness. As much as I talk about being connected to all of you, and as much as I ponder the power you all have to bring me to fullness of life, these words caught in my throat.
I would much rather serve than be served. Twice this week, the Christian scriptures reminded me that my greatness in the eyes of my Higher Power is seen in my smallness as a human servant. There are many Christian references to my need to be small, as I wash your feet, as I feed the hungry, as I visit those in jail, as I welcome the immigrant, as I build bridges between those on the edge of society and those in the main stream of society.
You have heard of my life long struggle with humility. Well, these words stirred my deepest sense of insecurity and fear. I desperately need the grace to let you be my servant.
My willingness to let you serve me stirs two emotions within. First is my sense of weakness. Asking for help rips apart my sense of independence and strength. Yet I have heard Richard Rohr remind me that asking for help is my greatest expression of Spirituality as I also express my recognition of a Power greater than myself. It is this very recognition of my need for help that offered me the transformative graces of recovery. Yet, here I am, 18 years into this transformation and I remain in constant need of humility and death to my ego. I really like my ego. Most of you know this very well. So here I am expressing my need for the grace of humility, which is a way of giving you permission to remind me of this need. You have permission to be the grace I need to be humble.
Second, my reluctance to ask you for help is my way of holding power over you as I don't allow you to be strong. I don't allow you to be stronger than me. I stifle your graces. I oppose your Divinity. Damn! That is just not the way our Higher Power designed this way of life, this Kingdom here on earth. I am still smug enough to believe that my way may be better than Hers/His way for us.
So this is my confession today, to you who are the body of Christ. You who embody our Divine nature: I ask your forgiveness and continued prayers that I may have the grace to let you be my servant too.
This is how we make it happen. This is how we become the peace that will turn our divided communities and nations into the land of plenty. We served each other in ways that elevate each of us to Divine reverence. It is this Divine reverence that we will experience beside the restful waters.