Wednesday, December 10, 2008

everyday Christmas

14We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!



I try not to be Debbie Downer, to think positively of myself and my life and my efforts for them both the best they can be. I am queen of good intentions, a stream of well wishes and benevolence flow forth in the creative spaces of my heart, my mind, but the follow through is some how always lacking. Do I blame myself, do I lay blame on the sinful quality of my very nature? An example.

Last night I was walking with some girlfriends in Sundance Square and a woman approached us. In her face you could see the difficulty of her years, the strife and pain and infliction, but she didn't hold back her smile. It was 30 degrees, she was wearing all the clothes she could find because she wasn't sure if she would be able to sleep indoors. She told us that in two days she would be moving into a Habitat for Humanity house, but for tonight unless she could find $13 she would be sleeping in the cold. Now I know our negative, unbelieving selfish nature tells us, "she's lying, she probably just wants money for drugs or booze." But what if she wasn't. What if my $5 would mean she could sleep in the warmth? Shouldn't we give out of our abundance more for the sake of that possibility than the latter?
Giving her my money wasn't the issue for me, it was that I want to be the person who does more. I realized on my way home all the things I should have done so that she would know that a person in the world cares, loves her even. I thought of how I should have made eye contact more, I should have hugged her, I should have put my hands on her and prayed for her. Instead I gave her money, congratulated her on her upcoming home and went on my way.

It's just not enough.

I want to be a stronger, more faithful person.
I want my discipleship to be seen through my abundant love.
With actions and in truth.
What I want to do, I do not do.
Baby steps, Jen. Baby steps.

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