Living in the country has taught this gal much.
For example, being stranded 20+ miles from town due to icy road conditions has taught me to appreciate the sun when it shines. Or how the pups drive me crazy until I boot their furry butts outside on a nice warm day, to which I find myself peeking out the window often to see how they’re doing on the big porch.
I am also learning about sacrifice. Not a seasonal sacrifice, but a sacrifice for a lifetime. A daily, intentional, dutiful, purposeful sacrifice. Sacrifice that develops, really develops, from soul surgery, the scalpel exposing the grim truth. I may have put this off for years had I not been placed in the middle-of-nowheresville, day in, day out. And you do see people go through this. The children have left the house, the economy is shaky, marriage is stale … purpose and existence being challenged.
Personally, I don’t want to be a part of this process, to go through the fire and valley. Who does? It hurts, it’s hard; it tears down pride and reveals ugly judgments that leaves me with no response but to bury my head in my arms, hiding shame.
When I consider this, my mind quickly goes to how self-involved this sounds, like I sit under a neon sign labeled “ME”. But I know better. It’s much simpler to continue finding things, people, positions to fulfill me and offer an identity, something tangible I can grasp and say, hey, do you see what I have to offer? Let’s talk about that! I no longer have an intelligent sounding job, nor am I married to a man of extremely rich resources that allows me to wear the finest or flash my fancy items. It seems I am being stripped of everything I can credit to my worth …
… and in the process, learning what it really means to love people, not for what they do, not for their talents, and not for their status. What it means to serve. And you know what, on the surface, some people don’t make it easy to love them. Like a porcupine, you’d much rather stay away so you don’t get hurt. So far I’ve taken a few shots, and to my surprise, have worn the porcupine suit myself.
To quote C.S. Lewis, “It’s so much easier to pray for a bore than to go and see one.”
Continuing on this journey, from bore to …