Morning Thanks

Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

a year of morning thanks

Impossibly human

The ungodly man thinks himself sufficiently strong and powerful to bear up against all the assaults which shall be made upon him. The faithful man says that fall and sink into the lowest depths, his fall will not be fatal for God will put his hand under him to sustain him. Calvin

It seems I'm capable of knowing the truth and yet incapable of living it. It would be funny if it weren't so tragic. That God wants us on our knees seems irrefutable; all of scripture tells us as much. I know it deeply and fully. Yet, I don't get there on my own. I get there only when the assaults, as Calvin says, are such that my own strength is simply incapable of keeping my feet solidly beneath me.

I know, but I don't do. I understand, but that understanding has no effect. I even say plainly what I know, what I understand; but when push comes to shove, I rely like a madman on my own strength, which is never enough.

I am impossibly human, a confession I'm not proud of. This morning, I'm thankful, not for what I am, but for what I'm not because I know--only when I'm on my knees--the blessing that can bring me back once again to my feet.

We visited an old couple last weekend, entered their room without their knowing--neither of them have much hearing left. They were doing devotions at the bedside, reading, haltingly, words that would have sounded much different to my ears, had I not been in their presence, words that were a gift of grace to hear through theirs. I'm not at all sure who has better hearing.

Maybe only in the last hours of our lives do we understand how to live on our knees. Only when we can't get on our feet at all can we really stand.

All this I know. But knowing that doesn't mean I can still be anything but impossibly human.

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