I said those exact words to a friend at lunch several years ago now. . .I said, “What if I told you I am both more and less than you think I am. I wish you could have3 seen her face. She bout fell out of her chair. She said, “What?! Say that one more time?” It was a fun “feed” . . .into conversation. She was such a sweet “guinea pig” as that concept had just occurred to me that day before we met for lunch 🙂
Now I have another friend. . . totally amazing what great friendship does for the heart life. Thank you girl friend. This post is dedicated to our honest conversations! How you have grown in courageous authenticity! You know who you are. ..
I had the most profound experience yesterday. After warm water therapy, which brings much needed circulation to muscles that can move and stretch in the water. . .I took a shower, with a friend’s help in the woman’s shower room. I had an “appointment” there I was not yet aware of. . .There was a woman in there just sitting and she struck up a conversation with my friend. After time, in listening, I assumed she might have a “mental challenge” and I felt a shadow of something like “judgement” darken past my thought life. . .I heard no words, in my own disgust. I shoved what could have been a thought out the door of my mind like a rat with a broom, before it formed into anything more than some temptation.(I am not a critical or judgemental person but that does not mean I am completely clean of ever having a judgemental thought!) It was some blip on the radar screen from days past when I was not aware of those subconscious “judgements” I use to make without even knowing it. I can’t believe I am coming “clean” with my readers. I’m ashamed that even the shadow got through me without getting caught in my filter. This flesh/spirit thing is sneaky. It will flash through you, before you even know what “hit” you!
I am less than you think I am.
“Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.” 1 John 2:15–17 (MSG)
We hide our flesh well, don’t we? I have flesh too, you just don’t always see it. If you saw me curled in a ball sobbing, would you be disappointed with what you saw? If you saw me rage about quitting, would you think less of me? If you heard me question God, would you be surprised? My flesh responses fight the Spirit of Christ in me just like they do in you, I think? 😉 The less in me than what you see, is the flesh I battle, most often privately. Fleshy choices bring “death” instead of being life-giving for myself and others.
I was soon to struggle yet again physically in transitioning from the shower bench to my wheelchair by transfer board. I can never anticipate the level of difficulty. It varies day to day, moment to moment what will challenge and what will not. Push, with turned feet, hop with a push of arms, slide like an inch worm. I was acutely aware this women was watching my every move. Every inch of struggle and I felt like a fly under a microscope. I felt a flash of irritation that I had no privacy even getting out of the shower. It was another thought that moved through without “catching” and no words came even in my head. Just awareness.
I am more than you think I am.
“I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.” Phillippians 4:13
If you could “see” into my struggles, with some of them, you might say, “I could never do that. . .” Well, you don’t know until God calls you into it and then grace comes. (Thank you, Father). The more in me is the Spirit of the Living God that claims small “life” victories that you do not see.
Finally, safely seated in my wheelchair this woman stands and walks over to me. She stood 6 foot tall and then some, towering over me and said. . .”You are one amazing woman. My name is “Susan” (not her real name). I extended my hand and said, with my slurred speech I might add, “My name is Tracey.” She then continued. . . “I can see you need help, but you are so strong, it seems you could do anything.”(I did allow the thought. . .God needs the glory here; to permeate my heart and mind) I pointed up and simply said, “All things are possible with God. It’s my faith you see.”
Now I am beyond humbled. Is there a word for that? I’m stunned, again, at how and when God speaks.That was both HIS grace and mercy. And my admiration and respect topped off with this young woman that reached out and spoke. (If I had been there, I would have turned my head, I think, to give “privacy” and not said anything, other than a silent prayer for them.) She had the “presence” to speak into my struggle. Okay, just how often do we take the risk to speak into another’s struggle?
I am still pondering my lesson and sharing my processing with you, in risk and vulnerability that you will not think less of who I am. Only my pride gets in the way of pushing the “publish” button. And pride never built anything, it can only tear down. So, I hope for your grace and mercy. I hope we can learn something together with these letters and spaces. I hope I’ve “crowned” “Susan” with the dignity and respect she deserved. She is positioned on HIS Pedestal and I am postured on HIS Peanut. Pretty much only way is “up” right?
Today, I am both a little less flesh than I was and a little more Spirit than I was yesterday. Opportunities to grow and be blessed: May they be yours to honestly explore, experience and embrace.
Both diagrams from adashofsaltarticles.blogspot.com. Please visit this website for more clear, accurate explanation and exploration of the “spirit mindset”and the “flesh mindset.” This is well written, just the right length and very helpful 🙂
In Him, Tracey
P.S. It might be good to get a few comments back so I don’t feel too “hung out there and left to dry” on the line of life 🙂 Just saying. . .