Hope you liked my story about my friend’s dog. She is an exceptional dog, probably my favorite in the whole wide world.
I want to talk about idiots today. I am defining idiots as those who are used of God to work grace into us, but are completely oblivious to their partnership in such.
We all have people who God uses to encourage us, strengthen us, give us example and bring us to gratefulness…who never know that they do so, who never purpose directly to do such, but who are used to move us on along in the river of God, nonetheless.
We also all have people who grate on our last nerve, call out the worst in us, remind us of all the things undone in us. We all have this experience with others and most of us can see how it gives us opportunity to exercise patience and forgiveness and to better address our own weaknesses and grating habits.
But, what I want to address today are idiots, unknowing ones, who are idiots, stupid acting jerks. Don’t tell me you’ve never encountered this variety of human life form. We all have. That boss or teacher or kid behind us that kicked our seat every day for a year, laughing when we turned to address him and the teacher called us down. Some of us live with people who are constantly angry and offensive and even blaming of others for every difficulty in their lives. (Some of us have been that person ourselves.) Some of us tolerate abusive speech and abusive actions. Some of us suffer insufferable fools daily and try to navigate our lives around those who seem, as yet, inescapable.
Idiots are awful, a sure sign of the falleness of this world. Idiots also seem to be everywhere. There seems no shortage of them. I want to talk about what I am learning, slowly, that we must do when we encounter them, if we are to keep growing in grace, to keep gaining ourselves. I want to remind us, especially myself, what we can learn and gain, even in such circumstances.
First, we can learn what we do not want to be. We can carefully analyze what it is that so offends and devalues our person, we can make sure we eradicate such mentalities in ourselves that we might freely share.
Second, we can examine what underlying lies and wounding probably fuel the festering we encounter and we can endeavor to carefully check our own foundational thoughts and presuppositions in light of such. And, armed with such insight, we can pray more compassionately and effectively for those who seem enemies.
Third, we can ask God to work and keep current His work of wholeness and healing in our lives. We can keep ourselves in humility and the careful examination of trusted persons and the Holy Spirit. We can purpose to live and interrelate in freedom, in grace, in humility….in the rule of love.
I think this must be pursued primarily in quiet and stillness and a readiness of heart. For me, that readiness means the place where I cannot go on as before, where my ability to lead “my” life is, well, broken, and I truly realize it. It can be correctly assumed that at some level, my life’s messiness activates my genius discernment.
There are lots of broken places in me, places that do not well serve me, that burn energy and make noise but don’t really accomplish the task they were made to do. This year has been about letting the Holy Spirit reveal those places in me, specifically, and my letting Him do the work necessary to remove and replace parts that are no longer able to do as they were designed to do. It hasn’t been all butterflies and daisies. It has been a little scary, okay, a lot. Truth’s breaking of long forged and known mentalities disorients to the point of pain. It leaves us unacclimated and unsure as to our “identity.” As I wrote this, I saw a ring being cut off of a finger. I thought about how my Mama had to have one cut off for a surgery. The ring still fit her finger, but could not be slid over her joint. It didn’t hurt to wear it, but efforts at its removal did. The swolleness of her arthritic joints – the weren’t always that way, she hadn’t been born with joints like that, the ring slid on and off appropriately when my father bought it for her, but now, life and its wear and tear had deformed that joint and its working. Sometimes those joints are aggravated, worn down and then suffer chronic inflammation. Sometimes a trauma of force or an inappropriate twisting damages a joint. I have experienced many kinds of joint injury to my fingers. I’ve broken my fingers many times, in many ways. I’ve even had others break them, accidentally, I presume. But, my Mama’s ring had to go for healing in another area to occur. It had to be cut off, and though it wasn’t as terrible as she or I imagined, it hurt a bit as well.
Sometimes the healing/wholeness process is like that. You go in for one thing and another thing ends up being addressed, first.
Sometimes, broken places, in my Mama’s case, her back, could not be fused until that ring was cut free. I think of the woundedness in me that needs address. I’ve got quite a few spiritual bones so crushed that fusion seems the likely remedy. Thankfully, my Mama’s surgery has been super successful! That gives me some hope…if man can do that kind of work, I’m pretty sure God can do even better!
God, hasn’t agreed to put me under for that kind of surgery, yet. But, there is little doubt in me that such an appointment is on my horizon. Right now, he’s cutting me free of other unexpected things that would somehow muddle future healing endeavors. He is cutting away adornments and identities and trophies which I have somehow focused upon as necessary to self.
Why am I including all this in my treatise on Idiots? Well, most of my injury has occurred at the hands of the biggest idiots that I have encountered in this life, the foremost being, myself.
But, I had some help as well.
Idiots are everywhere.
Somehow, somehow, it is coming clear to me that the ground that idiots live and relate upon grows grace well.
Just consider the encounter of an idiot as the fertilizer factor personified.