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We have many friends and acquaintances who are neck deep in true religion. They’re adopting. Or mentoring. Or fostering. Or advocating. They’re giving hard.

And the guilt runs deep.

Because I compare and feel ashamed. Ashamed of my frustration over croup. Ashamed that we don’t have an inclination to adopt. Ashamed of how little we’ve done for the kingdom.

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We have many friends and acquaintances who are neck deep in consumerism. They’re hoarding stuff. Inhaling goods. Building their wealth. Proud of their things. They’re showing it off.

And the pride runs deep.

Because I compare and feel smug. Self-righteous about our simple lifestyle. Complacent with our level of giving. Self-satisfied with the love we pour out. With the care we administer. With the hard things we’ve done for the kingdom.

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Comparison.

It cripples.

It ignores the Holy Spirit, dashes dreams, scoffs at grace and boosts the ego.

It breeds guilt and shame.

Or complacency and self-righteousness.

Or both.

So often both.

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And I know. I KNOW! Doing things out of guilt is bad, bad, bad.

Because ultimately we can’t hide our contempt for coming to each other out of obligation rather than grace.

And this? This is hell.

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¬†Oh my God, I’ll never get it right.

And I won’t.

I will never. get. this. right.

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But every so often I let go. I stop looking around. I get over my skepticism and listen for the Holy Spirit. I allow for the work he’s set before me. I pay attention. I let him change me. I make room in my heart for his kingdom come.

This is fleeting, my friends. Because I am painfully, painfully human.

But in the midst of it I get a glimpse.

Of true communion.

Of foretaste divine.

And this? This is heaven.