Sunday, February 22, 2009


Lately I've been feeling, somehow more poignantly than usual, so human. The mental, physical, emotional, and even spiritual exhaustion brought about by daily life reminds me just how limited I am. And yet - the shape of branches against sky, the colour of the hills, the smell of damp earth - these little things fill me with such delight that their superposition against the ordinary greys of life in February only serves to increase my wonder at their beauty. As I try to make decisions, The decision-making required of me makes the unknown future loom large while simultaneously I feel deeply how insignificant each choice, even my life, really is.

More than all these things, however, it is people that make me feel human. The heartfelt conversation, the shared experiences, those flashes of time when self becomes less important than that person you are with. It is people, who live and who die around me, who show me the complexity of life and who shape who I am. It is also people that allow me to see how self-absorbed I really am; I see both how I don't love them as I am loved and as I expect them to love me. Or, even more, my low expectations for others and myself, standing in relief against longings of what should be, reveal that we humans are not living in the best way. And I am just as human as everyone else.

Last night I was guided once again by the wisdom of the writer of the Litany of Penitence, which includes the prayer: "My anger at my own frustration ... I confess to you, Lord" It is so easy to become frustrated with our humanity. I think this frustration is one of the painful parts of growing, but let us not stop there. Another prayer from the daily liturgy I use resonated with me this week:

O Almighty God, who pours out on all who desire it the spirit of grace and supplication: Deliver me, when I draw near to you, from coldness of heart and wanderings of mind, that with steadfast thoughts and kindled affections we may worship you in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
This prayer acknowledges that very human ability to be distracted and distant without being overcome by it. This is tremendously encouraging. It brings me back once again to the fact that our Savior was incarnate, and he too experienced the intense joys and frustrations of being human. I will press to know this Lord deeper, for in Him, I believe, lies the ability to live joyfully in our humanity.

1 comment:

  1. Bethany,
    I really enjoyed reading your blog, especially this last post. I am so glad you started doing this and I hope that you can continue it next year, when I am no longer blessed to share a room with you and exchange thoughts with you everyday.

    Infact, you inspired me to start my own blog! I started it the other day but only really posted anything today. It does not have very much now, but hopefully it will soon. Here's the address:

    I am thinking of you and hope your break is going well considering the circumstances.
    <3 Caitlin