May the Sun Shine Warm Upon Your Face
I haven’t wanted to write because I’ve had no words of wisdom lately. I’ve been isolating and developing that special ring around the ass which comes from sitting too long on the pity pot. If I don’t share my lows along with my highs, though, I am being dishonest. Too, we can’t think our way into right action; we must act our way into right thinking. Unless I crawl out of my cave, weak and broken, I will never reach the warm, healing sunlight of the Spirit.
Maybe it’s because it’s March and everyone wants to talk about the third step, or maybe I’m just getting sick and tired of being sick and tired, but I’ve been convicted and called to examine my relationship with God lately. Last night, we were talking 11th step and I heard something that really pierced my hardening heart. To paraphrase: “In third step, we give our will over to God. In 11th step, we ask what His will is for us. Given that the will is the life’s direction, if we’ve done 3 and aren’t working on 11, then we’ve given up our will with nothing to replace it. We’re running around lost and directionless.” And that’s how I’ve been feeling lately. I just needed someone else to put a name to it.
Today, I sit here, proudly wearing green as an Irish woman on St. Paddy’s Day. Okay, so I’m a mutt just like most of middle America, but my great-grandmother’s family did come over from County Antrim in Northern Ireland shortly before Ireland broke from the UK. Had they not come over, I may have been born amidst “The Troubles” in Belfast. I may have been a fine example of an Irish stereotype – an alcoholic with a hot temper…. Uhm… yeah… so you can see how though I may be a mutt by heritage, the Irish blood definitely runs through my veins.
We Irish aren’t just known for our drunken barroom brawls, Sinn Fein and U2, though. We’ve got an exceptional way with words. It must be that whole Blarney Stone thing. Everyone knows a great Irish toast or blessing and come March 17th, they all come out of the woodwork. My favorites are the ones that make a dig at those who would do us harm like this one:
“May those who love us love us.
And those that don’t love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn’t turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles,
So we’ll know them by their limping.”
Leave it to an Irishman to express resentment and hatred for his enemies in such a way that everyone loves him all the more for it! Today, I needed something a bit more spiritual, though, and I found this fabulous blessing:
“God’s Might to uphold you
God’s Wisdom to guide you
God’s Eye to look before you
God’s Ear to hear you
God’s Word to speak for you
God’s Hand to guard you.”
We Irish are a passionate people and we have a passionate desire for all things spiritual. Perhaps this is due to our Gaelic roots. Or perhaps all I’ve written here is a bunch of malarkey as I am sadly not as familiar with all things Ireland as I would like to be. Allow me a little leeway, though, as I am (part) Irish and thus (partly) skilled at spinning tales and making you think I know what I’m talking about. Before Christianity came to Ireland, putting a name to God, these pagan Gaels sought God in all of nature, such was their desire to be one with their spiritual side. This yearning toward the spiritual lives on today in these blessings, our wishes for God’s guidance and protection.
So today I will crawl out of my cave (reluctantly though it may be), don my green shirt and embrace my Irish ancestry. I will entertain you with my gift of gab and I will passionately seek God. I will allow the Sunlight of the Spirit to invade my brokenness and heal me.
(And I will write a gratitude list because my sponsor told me to.)