Monday, June 13, 2005

They Must Not Know Me

I am a weak person. When it comes to my "spiritual life," I don't have a "thorn in my flesh," I have a freaking briar patch. Honestly. They may not all prick at once, but they're still there-- always. They don't go away. They're like incurable cancers for my soul. They might go into remission-- but they're still there, bidding time until the chance to become active arises once again.

Depending on how I move and turn, a pricker is there to remind me of my faults. And you know what? Sometimes the pain feels good. No pain, no gain, right? bah. And yet, it's true that sometimes I relish the pain; I play chicken with the pain. I see how far the thorn can dig into my flesh before I cry uncle and crawl back into the only Healing Hands I know.

Yesterday was Communion Sunday. Usually I *love* communion Sunday. I run to the altar, ready to lay my wretched self before my God. Yesterday I felt hobbled. I prayed for God to meet me where I was, to pick me up and carry me to the table-- to cradle His beloved between His shoulders. I prayed to even be that beloved one.

Eventually I shuffled to the front, briar patch in tow, and cried and hugged friends and took the body and blood of Christ to my sour lips. I felt as if my body might reject it-- or worse, it might reject being in my body. I prayed that it would, like a drop of soap in a pool of oil, dispel the darkness, displace the yuck.

And people asked me if I was ok. No. No, I'm not-- but I will be, hopefully, someday. Someday.

Then, in the wake of feeling so inadequate as a person, much less a Christian, one of the Church elders suggested I lead a class or something! Say what?!? I had sent him some of my writing and he loved it. From these short essays (things I've published here), he determined that I have a lot to teach the women, the people, of our church. To teach our church (since the people are the church). I felt like running and hiding. Me? You've got to be kidding me. You must not know me that well.

I wouldn't know what to say! I wouldn't know what to "teach"! I'm far too inadequate to teach others! I once asked my dad to teach me how to golf. He said no and that there was too much wrong with his stroke to teach me.

People, when it comes to spiritual strokes, you might as well call me Happy Gilmore--I have my own, not-so-graceful, form, etiquette and style. He asked me to pray about teaching; about leading some sort of small group or however it is that God would want me to lead others. hmmm, I guess that means I *actually* have to pray... something I don't seem to do much. So, I'll pray. Um, and freak out. And then try to pray some more-- or at all.

Who knows. Maybe God wants to teach the Church about taking sloppy strokes, replacing monstrous divots and cute plaid pants. Maybe nothing will happen at all and the whole silly idea will just slip away. Or, maybe it has nothing to do with anyone else, maybe He just wants to work on my stroke... we'll see.