"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Stands with a Fist

I just know that I am right.  I am right and you are wrong...

Sometimes when my husband and I have an argument, there is a deep feeling that rises within that says "I will not be put down!"

I am right.  You are wrong.  Period.  ...End of discussion.

And, I stand with a fist!

Last night, I felt this rising within.  I felt the tiger-Stephanie raring it's head and I stood in a defensive stance.  You are wrong!  ... Without the actual words, this is the sense... this is the feeling... that rose up in my heart toward my husband.  

In the midst of the argument (which wasn't going very well at all--- I might add), I had to excuse myself for a visit to the bathroom.  What a blessing this "nature's" interruption brought!

Being away from the argument for even a moment, brought an opening.  ...a tender call of the Spirit.

What was He saying? I am not even sure.  I was too angry to hear His voice!  But, He was calling, inviting, reminding...  

And, I bowed my head and answered with a cry for help, "Help us, Lord.  Help me, Lord".  

When I stand with my fist poised in defense or offense, I am never ready to hear.  But, Father God interrupted my stance and whispered His invitation for more---  I offer you peace and love.  I offer you long-suffering and patience.  I offer you mercy.  Grace.  

Ah!  There is the word.  Grace.  

Does Grace ever stand with fist?  

I knew in that moment that I was returning to the discussion with my hand down.  I knew I was ready to admit my hardness, my wrong.  I knew, most importantly, that I needed Jesus desperately in that moment.  I wasn't right!  Only He is good and just and righteous.  

This morning, I was listening to a song by Aaron Shust .   "I have learned to live to lose", he sings.    Living to lose.  What a concept!  

We come out of the womb primed and ready to win.  I toddled my way through the world knowing that I was right and that I deserved first dibs on that toy!  And, I am taught and I teach myself to win.  What might it mean to live a life ready to die.  To live every disagreement ready to bow my head and lose.  

To live to lose...  is this real, genuine humility?  It rings bells of "turning the other cheek" and "I count all as rubbish that I might gain Christ and ...be like Him in His death".    

False or feigned humility, false submission, "being a doormat" and victimization are not what Christ is offering here; because, certainly, I can submit on the outside and pridefully, forcefully, deeply, stand-up-on-the-inside at the very same time!  I can stand with a fist and you don't even know it!  

I believe He is offering me a life of grace.  I believe He is offering me a life of love and peace...  He is offering me a trust in Him that allows me to put my fist down.  

I don't know.  But, what I do "get" today... is that I am most definitely not always right!

Shocking, I know. (smile)

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