Wholly Folly

the case has to crack

for the seeds to be released

Persephone’s lunch

-o.o-

A couple of years back, DH and I were in Vegas for the annual work-related meet & greet. The first evening, we were talking with friends over wine and cocktail shrimp when an unmistakable feeling came over me. With an increasingly green face, I turned to DH and said with some urgency (but hopefully calmly), “I have to go back to the room. Right now.”

We made our apologies and took the speed elevator down to the main floor, which unfortunately was as far as I made it. Blessedly, there was a garbage can near by, so I was able to spare anyone from having to mop up after me. It being a Friday in Vegas near a busy set of elevators, there seemed to be hordes of people passing by, laughing at the woman clinging to the garbage can, along with murmurs of “too much to drink.” While that wasn’t the case (two glasses of wine in my experience don’t have that kind of purgative effect), I was almost relieved for the error; it meant I didn’t have to explain. In fact, much of the laughter came with approval. For probably the only time in my life, I was happy to have people assume I was trashed.

After what felt an eternity (but was really only about two minutes), DH returned from a nearby gift shop with paper towels and wet wipes, worried and doting over me. Normally, I don’t like to be fussed over; hate to need to be fussed over, or to rely on almost anyone for anything. Were I to give voice to my inner child, you’d probably hear an overconfident toddler stubbornly refusing assistance and bellowing “Leave me alone, I can do it!” But this time I was so grateful that he was there, helping me to clean up, doing his best to shield me from embarrassment, lending me his strength to make it back to the room. As he always does, he took good care of me.

The other day, wandering around the webs as I do, I came across this prayer, one that’s new to me but rings more than a few bells:

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being loved…
From the desire of being extolled …
From the desire of being honored …
From the desire of being praised …
From the desire of being preferred to others…
From the desire of being consulted …
From the desire of being approved …
From the fear of being humiliated …
From the fear of being despised…
From the fear of suffering rebukes …
From the fear of being calumniated …
From the fear of being forgotten …
From the fear of being ridiculed …
From the fear of being wronged …
From the fear of being suspected …

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I …
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease …
That others may be chosen and I set aside …
That others may be praised and I unnoticed …
That others may be preferred to me in everything…
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…

For a whole host of reasons, I hate to rely on people. By extension, I find it very difficult to rely on God. But at its heart, that stiff-necked pride is based on some of those very fears listed above. Real love, the kind that flows outward but asks for nothing in return, is a rare and precious gift. The benefit of living through those fears is that it gives that love an opportunity to be expressed, if we will but allow it. In humiliation, we find protection; in weakness, strength; in sickness, comfort. Even in childish foolishness, indulgence. For the loved, when we let go of all of those wants and fears we find we receive far more than we think we’ve lost. For the lover, there is the inexpressible joy of having given. The miracle of being human is that we may be both of these things.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in haiku, Japanese Friendship Garden, O!. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Wholly Folly

  1. As good a Sunday sermon as I’m likely to ever hear.

    Bless you for sharing it.

  2. f/zero says:

    Prime words, Julie. Amen to all that.

  3. retriever says:

    Perfect illustration, Julie! Because, of course, to the pain or embarrassment of our weakness is usually added our fear of being despised or viewed as weak or gross by others for it. So isolation (even if self-imposed) often accompanies our stumbling or fumbling or (in your case) rumbling…

    And it is spiritual. I visualize Satan rubbing His/Her hands gleefully every time we push away help or crawl away to suffer alone or say like the toddler “I DOODID MYSELF!” about things we are brave to try on our own, but do need help on.” It also particularly afflicts those of us who don’t want to be a burden on others, or a wimp.

  4. USS Ben says:

    Thanks for that Julie!
    Some cases are tough to crack. I often need cracked up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s