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Longing to heal the ugliness in others,
I find my only weapon may be
My own acceptance of my acceptance
In the beloved.
Help me, Father, to express my trust
In You and in Your reconstructive
Work around me by embracing
Your delight in me.
jmc 4/11/12


(C. S. Lewis The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Lucy’s gift from Father Christmas)

May 2009

Make me human, Lord.
Gentle and soft to the touch,
Quick to find joy in the
Everyday and the commonplace.

Make me human, Lord.
Teach me how to be hurt
So I may heal and forgive
Those hurting humans around me.

Make me human, Lord.
Let those who see me see You
In your humanity—
Weak yet strong,
Humble and wise,
Patient and kind.

You made Yourself human,
Imperviousness taking on vulnerability,
Infinity becoming visible, palpable.
Then You came to live in me.
Make me human, Lord.
Let me so dwell in You
Who lives in me
That I know I’m safe,
Safe to be me,
Safe to be real.
Human.

So, it hit me the other day why I often have a hard time praising God. At least praising Him aloud and to others.

I’m superstitious.

I have this feeling that if I praise Him, if I say that things are going well for me, if I share something I am grateful for, I might lose it. It might disappear. God’s next plan might be to take that away.

I’d cite Job’s example, but really this superstition is not logical. Yes, I reason from it, probably subconsciously for the most part. But that belief itself is not based on logic but on fear, fear of loss.

I’m not alone in this, I know. In the past 10 years, I have gotten to know a bit of Chinese culture, and they have similar superstitions–don’t praise your children to their face because it might cause the spirits to target them. Or something like that. And the Jews have some, too (look at Golde in Fiddler on the Roof). It’s a universal fear, I think. Only it just hit me a couple weeks ago that I tend to feel that way and avoid praising God for what I have lest I be unable to switch from enjoying what He has given me to doing without it. Maybe if I don’t acknowledge the gift, it won’t hurt so badly when it gets taken away.

Superstitious.

I wonder if that’s why God reminds us over and over to praise Him. Perhaps praise frees us from the superstition, helping us to live in the present with joyfulness, helping us daily to face the future with courage.

Oh, every year hath its winter,
And every year hath its rain—
But a day is always coming
When the birds go north again.

When new leaves swell in the forest,
And grass springs green on the plain,
And alders’ veins turn crimson—
And the birds go north again.

Oh, every heart hath its sorrow,
And every heart hath its pain—
But a day is always coming
When the birds go north again.

‘Tis the sweetest thing to remember,
If courage be on the wane,
When the cold, dark days are over—
Why, the birds go north again.

~ taken from Streams in the Desert (copyright 1925) October 9

Oh, God of dust and rainbows, help us see That without dust the rainbow would not be. ~ Langston Hughes

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