Thursday, April 8, 2010

Why I do not understand blessing and my ability to misuse it

It's spring, and I've been doing some gardening. Let me level with you--if I had written this post yesterday morning, the underlying, ugly motive of my heart would have likely been to show off my flowers. To allow you to see how I have my life under control to the point that I have time to garden and make my yard look beautiful. Gross, but there it is.

Yesterday I got an email that made my heart ache. Something terrible happened to the community in Kolkata that I love so dearly. The injustice and pain of a world 10.5 hours away came rushing over me again. Sorrow. Tears. Questions. Even guilt. That I have flowers and the beautiful women of Kolkata do not.

Today, I'm looking around my life. At the beauty. At the blessing. Do I believe that I possess those by my own merit and worth? Do I believe that I have earned the right to have a pretty flower garden? Do I believe that I own it, that it's mine?

All of this is His grace. When I look at the trees in the backyard, I have to catch my breath. They make me want to cry; they are so amazing. Beauty is grace. It is God's grace to us, and it brings me joy, and it brings me a sharp pain too, a pain rooted in knowing that not everyone is given this lovely cross-section of life I'm currently living in.

I know that God is good, and I bank that His goodness runs far deeper than the outward manifestations in my life: more than my darling first home, more than the clothes I buy and the shoes I wear, more than the variety of food sitting right now in my fridge and cupboard, more than the splurge at Lowe's for a few annuals to plant.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this:

God has poured out His blessing in my life abundantly. But the blessing does not prove or disprove His goodness. Should I count the blessing as something of my doing, or something I deserve, than I'm making a grievious mistake. Whatever He has given me is His. When He takes it away, it's still His. The gift is for a far greater purpose than to make me feel fulfilled or happy. It is for His Kingdom. He has a plan to redeem this pin-head we call Earth, so small in the great universe, yet so full of sadness, hate, poverty, oppression, and evil.

Will I be a part of it?

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