The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

02 June 2011

Offering to be a reed

I've been rejected.  Great, right?  It's not a nice feeling, and actually I've been in quite a funk for the past two days.  Funk is mild... a seething inner tantrum, more like.

Have you ever heard the expression, "Offer it up!"?  Usually said with encouraging good intention, but like all platitudes, it tends to fall flat in the moment.  Besides, what does it mean?  How do I offer it up? How do I give loneliness, rejection, disappointment, fear... any of it, to God?  Much as I try to be detached, I am experiencing those moments, those feelings.  It is my reality, I can't pretend I'm otherwise; I'm not suddenly happy or unconcerned for how I am, or uninvolved in the moment. Giving a thing means you no longer have it - it is elsewhere with someone else.  I try to unite myself with Christ on the Cross, but the suffering is still mine as well.

So offering it up must not mean that the feeling/experience will be gone, or suddenly made 'better'. How does it work, then?  In reading Reed of God I think I have a glimmer of what happens and it is tied in with abandonment and surrender.

Caryll Houselander describes it like this: Mary's Fiat gave God humanity. It was in Mary that Jesus took on His human form.  It was through her that He was able to experience hunger, thirst, betrayal, suffering. God asked her to give Him hands and feet to be nailed; though God is joy, He asked her to give Him tears; though God is eternal life, He asked Mary to allow Jesus to experience death.  She bore Christ in herself, and He was formed in her. When she looked at Him, she saw not only her God, but a family resemblance just as we all look for family likenesses in new babies. 

Jesus is formed in my life, and it is in what I do that He wants to act. It is Christ in me - not the best part of Tess herself, or the little corner that is able to be obedient and virtuous that day - but Christ Himself who wants to suffer, or be humble, or offer service.

This, Houselander writes, "needs to be practiced to be understood. We need to say to ourselves a thousand times a day, "Christ wants to do this"; "Christ wants to suffer this.""  That is true abandonment, for it really is not me.  I have made room for Christ in me, and surrendered entirely to His will in that moment.

Houselander goes on to say that resisting or resenting our circumstances is like Peter denying Him.  I certainly don't want to deny Jesus anything He asks of me, though I clearly need His strength to say yes.

So, dearest Lord, you want to experience this loneliness, this rejection from a friend. Glory to God.

1 comment:

  1. I'm tearing up....I can so relate.
    Thanks - and thanks be to God for Caryll Houselander.