A Wretch Like Me

Ever have one of those days when it seems hard to be forgiving, loving, generative?  That was my day today.  There was nothing particularly flagrant in today’s activities that rendered me heartless.  It’s as if I had a silo of acceptance, forgiveness, tolerance and benevolence that just ran dry.  As if I had given all there was, leaving me….empty.

I want to be helpful and generous, affectionate and gracious.  So often in the end, I’m left feeling trampled and depleted.  Worse yet, the helpfulness seems to wear off quickly, leaving people in need (again), but the hollowness in me is never-ending.  Unfortunately, one kind soul was around tonight when my pasted-on smile could hold its secret no longer.  I must have spouted ten minutes of brusque, meaningless grievances.  God bless her for listening to my ill-timed monologue.

I was brought up in a family that believes others always come first.  What a beautiful thought.  Except….

  • When others are always first, one is not refreshed and cannot be truly of service to anyone
  • When giving comes at the expense of receiving, there is imbalance that weighs heavily on a soul
  • When outward directed impulses cloud one’s ability to evaluate, choices can become corrupt
  • When the expectation is to “fix” the world, one will always fail

I, too, will raise my son to think of others first.  We will give our time and our money to others who need it.  We will busy our minds and our bodies on work that is not meant to benefit us.  I will also raise him to listen to his heart and soul and understand when he needs to be nourished.  Taking time for yourself is not always a selfish act. 

Tonight, as I pray for friends and family and strangers in need, I will pray that my silo is filled again. And it will be, through amazing grace…..which saves a wretch like me!

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.  ~Mohammed Ali

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