Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cursing and Crying

So I was supposed to have Spiritual Direction today for the first time in I don't know how long and had been somewhat looking forward to it. I had no idea what I was really going to say. I've still been focusing on detachment and spiritual poverty in my prayer, but I haven't really been DOING anything of those things.

My prayer has been there, but it's more like I'm just kind of punching my time card in with Jesus. I will swing by past Adoration before or after the gym and I know that's good and all, but I haven't been actually practicing the spiritual detachment or emptying out myself before God as one of the definitions of spiritual poverty.

(I know because I just gave a test to my students in which spiritual poverty was a vocab word. I also accepted other variations on the definition. I'm a NICE teacher. Sometimes :)

Something came up and Father had to cancel and it really was probably for the best. I took that time to go pray and actually set out to try and do the things I have been SAYING I've been praying about for the past month or so.

I should start by saying I have had a crazy couple of weeks. Nothing bad, just a lot going on at school with the end of the quarter and the non-stop ministry month that was October sneaking into the beginning of November.

I also should start by saying I have been in a somewhat vulnerable state of late. I'm assuming it just begins with a P, ends with an S and has an M in the middle. Sorry if that's TMI for my male readers. It happens.

I had just been having typical mini-moments of "humph" that is affliated with such a state, but today I had the tears. I'm not ashamed to say that because they were just mini-tears and somewhat laughable, but they felt good in a weird way at the same time.

I couldn't remember the last time I had a little emotional teary-eyed moment. It surprisingly did NOT occur when I was babysitting last Saturday and the beautiful child asked me TO PRAY PART OF THE ROSARY with him! This could have ended in ovary explosion (again, sorry for too much detail, boys. Please see this post from earlier this year for further explanation about the somewhat vulgar image).

Anyways, the tears came- as they often do with the P and the M and the S- in a stupid, laughable moment. I was crossing the street and actually playing the voicemail Father had left me saying he had to cancel our appointment. As I'm doing this- crossing IN the CROSSWALK, mind you, with seconds to spare- some jerk lays on his horn and calls me an idiot...FOR WALKING IN THE CROSSWALK.

Being the sass queen that I am and now the proud East Coaster, I let out a little NYC and told him what was what. Namely, that I was IN THE CROSSWALK.

I'm sure you've all had similar experiences in cars (or you know, in other modes of transportation like on foot...) where you just get so ANGRY! And you don't even KNOW the person but you DESPISE them!

This was the case and when I made it to my own vehicle, I sat in the car and I shed a tear. I did.

But the release felt good. And so I continued it before Jesus in the chapel.

It was then I realized I haven't been detaching or emptying or even really PRAYING the way I wanted to. I apologized to Jesus, and then I felt the nudge to look to Scripture. This is what I turned to:

"Jesus Curses a Fig Tree" and the "Cleansing of the Temple"

Cursing and Anger, for the win! :)

The story of Jesus cursing the fig tree seems funny without the bookend of that story. As is common technique for the Gospel writer, Mark, the story of the fig tree has the cleansing of the temple smashed into the middle of the beginning and the end of the fig tree story.

The story begins with Jesus cursing at a fig tree because it didn't have anything on it. Ha! I love Mark's picture of a Sassy Jesus.

After he throws everything around and tells people what's what in the temple, he returns to the fig tree and the fig tree He had cursed is now withered. BAM! Do not mess with the best!

But then Jesus uses the fig tree to teach THIS lesson to his apostles:

"Have faith in God. Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him. Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours."

And for some reason (we probably all know what reason by now) I cried some more.

Jesus was using his sass to tell us to TRUST Him. This is a language I SPEAK. Also, it spoke to my needing to empty everything out so that there is NO doubt in my heart. DETACHMENT. Detach from the doubt. Detach from going through the motions. Be a little spontaneous. Yell at some fig trees or whatever else might listen :) Be vulnerable.

I like it. Sassy Jesus never lets me down.

I also sang (in my head. I know that's WEIRD but that's what I DO sometimes in prayer. Secret's out) this song that I have always loved and kind of puts me in my place before God (and may or may not get me a little weepy from time to time):

Before You Now, in the beauty of Your Presence
And as I bow, you surround me with Your radiance
I worship, I worship You.
I worship, I worship You.

Before You Now, as your loving arms enfold me
I am in awe of your power and Your glory
I worship, I worship You
I worship, I worship you

I surrender to the call upon my heart
I surrender to Your Passion and desire....

It repeats and it is pretty :) And that is all you get from me today. Enough secrets for one post!

Please pray for another Senior Retreat we are going on tomorrow. I really do pray for these kids and I know your prayers work! Thanks!

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