Lord, bring me down off my high horse
to mingle with the crowd;
for they will teach me
to follow you completely.
You are there among them,
riding on a donkey,
on the colt of a donkey.
Up here, I’ve just been making
an a$$ of myself.
So much casting shame and guilt.
So much accusing of conspiracy and falsehood.
So much indicting for behaviors unbecoming and deeds unwelcome.
So much righteous indignation.
So much misunderstanding.
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. (Matthew 1: 18-19)
Joseph, the faithful, had every right to cast out his young bride-to-be, who apparently, was not. And yet… he grew curious about how this came to be. He questioned how it may have come about. He deliberated on the action he was about to take. He wondered if there was more to this story than he yet knew. And then,
an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20-22)
Who am I falsely accusing?
What conclusion am I jumping to?
Where have I misread, mistrusted, and misunderstood?
How, in my righteousness, which I have called faithfulness
have I hurried to divorce – even quietly –
rather than consideration, consolation, provision?
Where, in my failure to be curious,
have I rushed to the … and now!
rather than abiding in the … and yet?
Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.
I’m jogging around a small, oval 3-lane track at the gym,
so slowly, well, okay walking,
in the inside lane —
the one nearest the railing where you can look down on
three floors of people beating themselves up
to try to stave off age, time, years of inattention and just plain sluggishness —
and I see a group of young adults with rags,
wiping, wiping, wiping the railing.
No matter that the one in front has just wiped this spot,
they will wipe it again
and move onto the next
handle, next window, next wall, next surface,
at the instruction of the young woman who calls encouragement and instructions.
“Thank goodness I’m not like these,” I think.
They are not thinking that of me,
but perhaps they should be.
Thank you, Lord, for the body I have that does all it can which is more than some and less than others. Help me live in it today in a way that is pleasing to both of us. Amen.