24 June 2006

Only God can skin you.

A sense of entitlement is the surest way to hurt yourself and destroy others. There is a twisted logic that slides into your head, beneath your skin—or maybe it was already there—but there is poison in your convictions when your only reference point is yourself. Too much introspection will kill off all the good things. When you are dredging the depths of your own soul, do not expect to find truth, for the truth is not in you. It is better to keep your mouth shut for a while after an inward journey—spend some time observing the outdoor scenery.

Don't expect your eyes to adjust immediately.

Sometimes your purest moment of righteousness is really your greatest blunder of hypocrisy, your penetrating vision has captured every curve of a mirage, and your absolute judgment is about to dissolve.

If you realize you deserve nothing then you will begin to see grace.

Usually, you are the problem, and all the problems you see in others, the things that make you angry and restless, frustrated and jealous, are the reflection and the manifestation of the dissatisfaction that comes when you refuse to be satisfied in God.

If you try to suck things out of this life
That aren't there
You'll destroy yourself
And others
People are not going to satisfy you and you cannot satisfy yourself. Neither can you change yourself.
Like Annie Dillard says: the interior life is often stupid.
As Darcy was telling me the other day, in the body of Christ we recognize our own weakness and when we see it in others we never dare to exploit it. We remember God. We remember the Holy Spirit. We remember miracles. We believe in the struggle in which each person is engaged. We encourage. We uplift. We believe. And we protect all of ourselves with forgiveness.
Like Eustace learned, sometimes your own reflection is the most terrifying thing you will ever see. Sometimes it takes a lot to make you stare yourself down. After you've discovered what you really are, even then: only God can skin you.
You are blind and you cannot find your own way.
You are broken and you cannot fix yourself.
You are sick and you cannot heal yourself or others.
You are fallen and only God can raise you.
Only God can skin you, and the tearing away of your old self from your new self may take a long time. Only God can bind you up and clothe you again, in the right frame of mind.
You must live day to day, hour to hour, building alters and giving thanks. But you cannot weight any day with the task of full resolution. Yes, you are forgiven and loved, your sins are spread far and forgotten, but you cannot push a day beyond its limit without bending it at the edges and thrusting yourself into disillusionment. Life is also a series of days and weeks, months and years, individual actions and clinging habits. Change comes slowly and later healing.
Your truest apology to those you've hurt is not articulated in words, it is not expressed in sincere vocalizations, it is only realized in your dedication to your own transformation. Not giving up. Letting yourself become new. Make me new.
If we try to make heaven out of earth
We'll destroy the earth
Trying to suck something out of it that's not there
Trying to satisfy hungers that can't be satisfied down here

We enjoy this life
But we know there is more to come
This is not all there is
We are immortal

(poem from Linford)


jamie said...

beijos para voce meu amiga. obrigada.

Pauletta said...

Don't expect your eyes to adjust immediately.

oh hannah, i just love this. i love you. and i miss you. you all are really something special...so...i am soooooooo glad that i am still able to read the blogs and all...i just need your beautiful encouragement.

melissa said...

i am always amazed at your ability to articulate, and articulate well.

i have been greatly discouraged lately as my faults have come into focus with ever-increasing clarity... this post was encouraging.

i love how you pick up bits and pieces of things and weave them together into a coherent whole that progresses to round out an idea. it makes me muse and wonder about what you are reading :)

Brutes In The Halls said...

The most heartening thing about our walk is that the work has already been completed. (I think the verse in Philippians, stating god will work to completion that which he began, is always taken out of context. It is talking about the church at Philippi, not about the indivudual believer.)

In the mean time, we spend so much time feeling guilty that we never act like that which we already are; we need to commit to live according to that to which we have already attained, or however it goes.

Thanks for writing this post. Eustace was such a well developed character. I particularly associate with Aslan's ripping of layer after painful, deep layer. Just when you think your ugly self has been peeled away, he mercifully rips deeper.

The nice thing about all this, too, is that while the bad things we do are infinite, and our perspective always self-oriented, God throws all that out and saves the little threads of good things He works through us. Revelations 19 talks of what these threads will weave: the wedding dress! "It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints."

That is, and will be, a sight worth seeing.