I don't always have the chance to get up and read a chapter or so of scripture before the morning quiet is broken and day descends with full force, but this morning I did. Slipping from between the warm bodies of toddler and baby, I tiptoed to the kitchen to put the kettle on, for what's an early morning without a quiet cup of tea to enjoy within its comfortable confines? Opening the blinds of a window that would allow the morning light to thoroughly bathe me but not touch the sleepers, I opened my bible to 2 Corinthians.
It was an unassuming chapter, or unassuming to one who has any sort of past in church going: Paul, defending himself and revealing a bit about his "thorn in the flesh."
Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me - to keep me from exalting myself! Conerning this I implored he Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, my power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boasr in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. [12:7-9]It was the hastily scribbled note in blue beside this passage that sparked a more wakeful attention.
And you will stand in righteousness that is not your own and do the work He has given you to do. So let us learn the secret of gutsy guilt from the steadfastness of sinful saints who were not paralyzed by their own imperfections. [Gloria Furman]
It was like one of those cheesy lightbulb moments. This is it. This is the excuse I use for things that I'm just not sure about or seem too hard. Things I ought to do, am made to not just do but also be. Because, somehow, I believe my imperfections and general unsuperhero-like qualities stand as a gigantic road block.
As if my imperfection was stronger than the great and shining perfection of God who appears and rocks and trees sing. Who speaks and storms and waters obey. Whose hand holds this universe and all the others out there. As if my black ink dot of a road block stood up to Him in His greatness. No, no it's funny, go ahead and laugh.
No matter what it is, brokeness is not an excuse. It will not be accepted on that day when lives are examined in leiu of the righteousness that makes all things possible.
Darn it Carissa, who knows how many days you're given so get up at the crack of dawn to read a verse or two, say yes to pancakes, spank and then hug those crazy haired cubs pouring ketchup on the floor as you make them, genuinely smile at your husband when he walks through the door and the household is rioting and dinner is burning. It's okay that being a wife and a mother and a writer are all equally a part of who you are. Love and serve and take delight and write like you're running out of time, because you are, and because you want to echo with Paul:
Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficultes, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak then I am strong. [12:10]