"Once we clearly acknowledge the soul, we can learn to hear it's cries. - Dallas Willard, Renovation Of The Heart."

It takes courage to pursue our dreams. It takes time and patience to unearth buried treasure. But I believe with all my heart that we must do both.

1.15.2010

Humanly Best



I read this today in "Listening to Your Life" by Frederick Buechner. I have read it before, I might have even mentioned it in a previous post, but it spoke to me again.

After Buechner's father's death, the family moved to Bermuda, rather to Grandma Buechner's disapproval:

"You should stay and face reality, she wrote, and in terms of what was perhaps the soundest advice she could have given us: that we should stay and, through sheer Scharmann endurance, will, courage, put our lives back together by becoming as strong as she was herself. But when it comes to putting broken lives back together - when it comes, in religious terms, to the saving of souls - the human best tends to be at odds with the holy best. To do for yourself the best that you have it in you to do - to grit your teeth and clench your fists in order to survive the world at its harshest and worst - is, by that very act, to be unable to let something be done for you and in you that is more wonderful still. The trouble with steeling yourself against the harshness of reality is that the same steel that secures your life against being destroyed secures your life also against being opened up and transformed by the holy power that life itself comes from. You can survive on your own. You can grow strong on your own. But you cannot become human on your own. Surely that is why, in Jesus' sad joke, the rich man has as hard a time getting into Paradise as that camel through the needle's eye because with his credit card in his pocket, the rich man is so effective at getting for himself everything he needs that he does not see that what he needs more than anything else in the world can be had only as a gift. He does not see that the one thing a clenched fist cannot do is accept, even from le bon Dieu himself, a helping hand."

It reminds me of a child saying, "me do, me do." But there are some things we cannot do on our own, and in our own strength. Sometimes we have to just give God permission to do the work he longs to do in our hearts, and souls.

11 comments:

Sandra Hall said...

Hi Mary, your words are so true, if only we would let go and let God begin.

CountryDreaming said...

Our human frailty would have us grasp at illusory security while fearing to leave our comfort zone. This combination is not likely to lead to being at our best. Jesus beckons us at times to walk on water. Thanks for providing this reflection.

WINDOWLAD said...

Hi Mary,

I agree with all your words... If only we'll God to enter in our lives surely we'll never be lost.... I think it's the best realization for me today... thanks for inspiring...!!!:)

A happy weekend!!!:)

God Bless you and your family!!!:)

>Kelvin

Megan Hoover said...

I've had my share of "givin' it up to God moments" in recent years. I'll share those testaments of God's hand with you some time. There is a plan and we have to trust. Recently I told Myste in an email that God answers all prayers -- it's just that sometimes the answer is no, or not right now.

Just Be Real said...

Truth rings loud and clear in this post Mary! Blessings and hugs to you and yours!

Mollye said...

Yes Mary and through sometimes the wisdom we begin to get we are able to know the diffferences. Thanks for this post. Happy weekend, Mollye

Katy said...

Thank you, Mary! MUST. READ. BUECHNER.

Finally Free said...

Mary,
This is a great reading.....I have often asked God why I have been so sick at times.
His answer is that I have learned to depend on Him.

I have counseled when I had nothing to give. He has always showed up. His strength was made perfect in my weakness.

Without Him I am nothing has been what I have been learning.

Thanks for the reminder. :)
Blessings,
Tammy

Bren said...

This is a beautiful artistic rendering Mary, you really have found your groove. And I can't thank you enough for sharing Buechner's insight with us, I'm off to look up some of his books!

Elena said...

Beautiful artwork and thanks for sharing the words. I have trouble with just trusting. Good reminder.

sarah said...

It takes trust and trust takes time even trusting God...Great post and awesome art...