Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Needing Buddy Jesus
Because this is the beginning of my difficult season, and this time around I don't have medical insurance to get relief that way, I find myself with very little energy.
It's hard to get the kids to school. Fortunately, they've been with me so long they've learned to fend for themselves. The schools serve free breakfast to all the kids, whether or not they are eligible, and my kids still get free lunch. This means I don't have to wake up at the crack of dawn and cook breakfast. Truth be told, I rarely cook now. That's Ken's job, and for a man, he can be a really good wife sometimes. That's not an insult.
These past few days have been filled with me furiously writing. I think I wrote a fresh 70 pages yesterday alone. That's brand new material, not a rehash of old stuff. There's a psychological toll, and a physical one, too. So I worked, not in my newly cleaned office, but in my bed (not so clean). Mak was right. I so folded after three days! Okay, before three days. But I'm still not giving up on myself, even if I am an ENFP.
I am a firm believer in a personal relationship with God. Can't help it. I was Pentecostal first. Marie reminded me of something one of my former pastors said. "We need a God we can feel sometime." Or something like that. I certainly have been graced with His presence, but that doesn't stop the disappointment that comes just from being me.
I get tired of being tired. I want to be out in the world exploring it all, but I just can't sometimes. I have seasons of self-pity majestic in it's depth and breadth. And nobody will beat the crap out of me like I will. I'm an expert at it.
But then, sometimes grace breaks through, and I get a sense of God being more than willing to cut me some slack. When I first started blogging I saw something on a friends site that has stayed with me all these years. He said...get ready for it now...here it comes:
"JESUS DID NOT COME TO KICK YOUR ASS."
I can't tell you what a relief that is.
I didn't like Buddy Jesus when I first saw him. I thought it was mocking, and I don't like anybody mocking my Lover. And maybe it was, but he sure does look good to me today. Smiling. Giving the thumbs up. Winking. His hand extended in blessing in a very different way than the icons I see. And I love icons. Don't get me wrong. But I just get the feeling that Buddy Jesus is down with a sistah. I'm getting a serious, "There is now no condemnation" vibe from him. And I need that today.
Thomas Merton said, "For me to be a saint is to be myself." I had that same kind of discomfort when I read that. It was like the literary version of buddy Jesus. Not mocking, but disturbing because I found it frighteningly...self absorbed? Narcissistic? I wasn't sure. I thought about it for awhile, then something occurred to me. This is not unpalatable if you believe that God loves you. If you believe like everything else He created He spoke, "Good" when you were formed. If being yourself means becoming all that God created you to be: joyful, lovely, sensuous, giving, and even messy, then it is an honor to be yourself, and a shame before God if you are being anybody else, or beating yourself because you're not some nebulous idea you have of a saint.
Love supports us, even on the worst of days. Sometimes it takes a friendly email or phone call to remind me, but always, God seems to get this message back to me. The God I can feel. The God who made me "Good." The God who isn't too high up to for me to share a high-five with.
St. Francis de Sales, (ha! You thought I'd say of Assisi, didn't you?), said "Be who you are, and be that perfectly well." He's the patron saint of writers, you know. I think after the big marathon of work I've done, and the one I'm about to do--Wounded is due in three weeks--I'm going to allow myself to receive the happy grace of Buddy Jesus, and let the spiritual work for today be just being me.
St. Claudia Mair
Peace and all good, good people!
p.s. Thanks, Paula Clare.