Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Bus II

I took the bus to a rally yesterday. It was crowded, hot and sticky. Midway through the ride, the person sitting next to me got off and an adorable little girl took his place. I glanced down and saw her tiny hand reach out to touch the brightly colored bangles I happened to be wearing. Her face wore a mixture of pure fascination and wonder. But she caught herself and pulled her hand back just in time. To my own surprise, I was sorry that she had caught herself and woken up from her momentary enchantment. I thought about telling her it was okay, she could see my bangles, but not knowing if her reaction had been the result of fear or parental training, I regretfully remained silent.
I thought about the incident and it occurred to me how like the little girl I am at times, especially concerning the things of God. Countless are the times I have felt God calling me, drawing me into new territory, deeper waters... Countless are the times I have heard Him speak fascinating things that excited me and captured my imagination, things that would make me reach out to him in wonder, only to draw back again in fear and doubt. At times I do push through the negative feelings. It takes sheer force of will on my part to go by what I know and not by how I feel. But all too often I give into my feelings and allow them to short change me on my journey. I wonder if at these times God is disappointed as I was when the little girl on the bus caught herself just in time.
There is a beautiful quote by Marianne Williamson that was used by Nelson Mandela during his inaugural address. It is one of my favorites.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, " Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?" Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that others will not feel unsure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone! As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

6 comments:

Constantine said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
voixdange said...

It was a rally against racial profiling. I'm happy to report that no arrest were made, in spite of my pastor's u - turn on the way home....

Constantine said...

I like your story Angevoix. As a dad to two little "Morning Glories" it somehow touched me. In my mind's eye I can see them reaching out to touch your bangles. Of course, I know that's not the point of your story, but it came to mind. I also like your phrase "momentary enchantment." Very powerful. As we get older that phrase unfortunately becomes more and more the exception in life. Beautiful quote too. It's not unlike my own contention that in the collective 2000 year history of Christianity an overwhelming emphasis has been place on "Original Sin," instead of working to maintain a much needed balance by also giving more than lip service to the doctrine that we are made in His image.

So, what kind of rally, if I may ask?

Note: I deleted my first post because of my appalling and atrocious spelling and grammar as of late.

voixdange said...

I never noticed your spelling errors, which should tell you something about my own spelling abilities...
I'm glad you like the post... there is really something so precious about the unfiltered wonder of a child isn't there? We learn to be so reserved as adults, but I'm afraid it is at the expense of authenticity...
My pastor doesn't hold back on correction, but he also speaks a lot about our being created in the image of God... so he does have a nice balance between correction and affirmation. Don't worry about your spelling...I know mine is a mess.

Dr. Mike Kear said...

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Beautiful story. Thank you for relating it.

Peace,

Mike

olympiada said...

Yes I agree, and I think I am seeing that manifest. Beautiful quote. I like your narrative.