Oh Lord, purify me, make me a chalice in which you dwell, offer your sacrifice in me and spread your love through me. Let me shine like gold, adorn me with the jewels of virtue that I may always be open to you. Fill me. Overflow me. Let me be like that most perfect vessel, the Singular Vessel of Devotion, She to whom I cry for protection against the Evil One. I ask this for your glory, for the vessel is nothing without the sustenance inside, the cup nothing unless it is filled. Oh Lord, purify me.

Give me a word, Abba

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Out of my Depth

Psalm 130 happens to be one of my favorite psalms. I remembered this when musing about being "out of my depth", what I believe to be a swimming term for being in water too deep for you. Perhaps it is ironic that I am a terrible swimmer and therefore out of my depth in this original sense of the phrase. (It could very well be that I made that up and that it's something different. I don't know.)

Anyway, there are many things in which we are out of our depth. Perhaps a parent feels he is not raising his kid properly. Perhaps a singer feels that she is losing her voice. Perhaps a teenager finds himself socially inept next to the slourishing social lives of his friends. In all these situations, these folks are "out of their depth". I've been out of my depth in certain situations and probably always will be in some sense.

But that's exactly the place from where God expects us to him. "Out of the depths have I cried to thee oh Lord!" It is precisely when we're not good enough and when we fail that we must look to Him to solve it, look to Him to be good enough, look to Him to pull us out. We might be clambering out of our proverbial caves (cf. Plato), but we can't do it as long as we're holding onto the rope of our own strength. We need to be able to trust that God will fulfill His promise. We need to be able to wait "as the sentinel waits for the dawn." Patience and Trust. Faith and Hope. And probably Love.

Love waits. We always hear that phrase about chastity, but it's true in all sorts of other circumstances. A mother waits for her son to truly apologize for not taking out the trash. That's love. If she ordered him to apologize, it is not his apology, but her apology spoken by him. It is not a true apology. Love always seeks the truth. Two lovers who wait to be married before having sex are not merely giving it up because it's good to suffer (*diabolical laughter*) but because having sex is a communication of an idea: I am yours! (pax, Jason Mraz) I would not be yours if I could just take myself away from you for whatever reason. That's why marriage, a promise to ACTUALLY belong to someone else, is the only context in which sex makes sense.

And this is also our relationship with God. We may or may not promise to belong to him, but whether we like it or not, we do belong to and with him. (pax, Taylor Swift) He knows that and continually makes covenants with the people of this world, vowing to love them and "be their God" while they are his people.

Love waits. If we truly belong to someone (A mother belongs to her kids, in a sense, or a husband to his wife) then we will be patient with them no matter what the timing is, no matter the cost.

Although Advent is the traditional season of "waiting" and "anticipation," Lent has it's own flavor to bring. The people of the world had been waiting for the messiah for centuries to save His people. Lent is the time when we realize that the ideas we had for the world aren't necessarily the best of ideas or the most helpful to our salvation. Lent is the time of failed dreams and apathy. We must deal with the first and overcome the second (the second being the first step in overcoming the first.) We must realize that we may fall and fall often, but that as often as we are "out of our depth" in the life of holiness, God is there to pull us out and we would do well to cry out to him and cry out often.

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