“Do not be ashamed to serve others for the love of Jesus Christ and to seem poor in this world. Do not be self-sufficient but place your trust in God. Do what lies in your power and God will aid your good will. Put no trust in your own learning nor in the cunning of any man, but rather in the grace of God Who helps the humble and humbles the proud.” – Thomas á Kempis
Thomas á Kempis was a monk; a silent man who kept to himself in the monastery, reflecting on Scripture for 72 years and writing all kinds of wisdom.
I am nothing like him. I envy his peace and solitude on mornings like this where the world wants to tip over and dump my life out. It’s really not as dramatic as it sounds, but I just imagine Thomas á Kempis being too self-controlled to ever feel upside down.
As I sit silent for some moments and read his words in “Imitation of Christ,” I am encouraged that my sister and I are attempting to do exactly what he exhorts (in a far less controlled and far more gregarious way). All the discontented rumbling of this past year (see here and here and here) and my recent reflection on blessings has been like flint making fire in my soul. I don’t want to hoard blessings that were never mine in the first place.
Love is not conviction or theology or wisdom or understanding.
Those are like claps of thunder or the clang of cymbals.
This morning I’m 24 hours from a new job, new city, new landlord, new neighborhood, new roommate, new career field, and this is why the world wants to twirl.
My heart is taking shaky steps alongside my sister’s so that somebody can feel our motion. We want our theology and conviction and wisdom and understanding to move our feet down the sidewalk and direct our conversations with the family next door.
We don’t want to be let off the hook because we’re single.
We don’t want to be excused from radical service because we don’t have our lives figured out.
We don’t want to be overlooked for ministry because we aren’t rolling in abundance.
We’ve got enough blessing to flood a city and we want to share it.
We don’t want to set up a self-sufficient situation on East Dunham Avenue, either. We don’t want people to think we’re blessed because we deserve it. Nope, not at all.
It’s no coincidence that my friend Alejandra chose this memory verse for us this week, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
We want to trust our gracious God to provide for His children as they take shaky steps to put love in motion.
As the world twirls in the next 24 hours, I imagine Him saying, “That’ll do, child. That’ll do.”
And that makes me feel like I’m stretching my arms at the summit of Mt. Everest.
let LOVE fly like cRaZy