I feel as if every year in February I write a blog entry about how little I like February.
This is because February is grey. It has a sandy feel that goes down your throat and into your stomach, and everyone seems tired and cynical and little bit empty in the eyes. I usually feel used up and far-from-home.
So since this February has arrived in all its disheartening splendor, I have been feeling small and small and smaller lately, and then this past weekend I read The Great Divorce. And I read where the Spirit tells the man with the lizard on his shoulder that “the gradual process is of no use at all.” I stopped and I sat very still. This is at least the fourth time I’ve read the book, this scene has always been my favorite, and I think I may even have already underlined those words before. But I guess I haven’t actually been paying attention.
For a very long time, I’ve fed myself the narrative that since life is long and winding, and we change so slow, it’s okay to come to Jesus the long way. It’s okay if I don’t do the best thing, the right thing, today, or if I only do it halfway. I’ll begin being faithful eventually, when I’m older and better, when I’m tough and mature enough to handle it. I’ll join the ranks of the saints once I’m fit for sainthood.
But He must have all of me now no matter how flimsy and sullen that “all of me” is. The plan is not for me to inch towards Him as I have the strength and inclination. I’ve got to throw myself onto the pyre to be made new. And beyond that blaze lie the unknown regions of sheer grace.
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
Blessed are the ones who sing off-key,
Blessed are the ones who’ve lost their appetites,
Blessed are the ones who forget their turn signal,
Blessed are the ones with illegible handwriting,
Blessed are the uncomfortable, the fragile, the speechless, the lowly,
Blessed are the ones who are often flat-out wrong,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven, and the “Bleeding Charity” that flows at its heart is theirs for the taking.