Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Rest of the Story

In the middle of the night my daughter stumbled in and moaned, "Mom, my back aches and I feel like I'm going to faint." I packed her back to bed and went downstairs to get some medicine. Odd, I thought, how loudly the sounds of the night were coming in through the open stairwell window. Such a cacophony of high-pitched chirps and plinks and ringing. But the ringing didn't stop, and by the time I reached the hall downstairs my head was lifting off in a way I know means I need to sit immediately and put my head between my legs. I blinked, and thought how nice it was that there was something cool against my cheek. Something cool and hard, and the same thing was pressing gently against the back of my hand. It was the floor. Why was I on the floor? And why did it feel so good? I pulled myself up and found the tylenol, and I found my daughter's water bottle, and I found the floor again before I made it back upstairs.

All this is a meandering way of explaining why my filter seems to be busted today. Although I feel mostly physically better -- and what even was that? -- I have a poor tolerance for folly today. It is a bad morning to be online. I thought that perusing the internet would be exactly the sort of lazy activity suited to someone recuperating from the night-faints, but it only seems to exasperate me into a contempt for my fellow person. And not just with humanity in general, but with actual people I know and like. I want to snap and remove pegs and prove the world wrong.

I have not done these things, mind. But in my slightly-reduced state of health, I am missing the lubricant sense of grace that allows me to rub along with my neighbors without being scraped raw. By myself, I am not enough to love all people at all times. I'm not even enough to love myself at all times. It takes something beyond me -- it takes grace -- to allow me to love my neighbors as myself, and to love myself as I love my neighbors.

I speak of missing the sense of grace. That doesn't mean that the grace is not there. I simply don't feel it in the face of particular temptations. And that's a good sign that I need to move away from the source of temptation -- the sheer ease of being able to speak my mind to the world with the click of a few keys -- and rest. Rest physically, rest mentally, rest spiritually. I need to lay down, and make the rest my work and my prayer.

And do it somewhere other than the hall floor.


Julia said...

"I speak of missing the sense of grace. That doesn't mean that the grace is not there. I simply don't feel it in the face of particular temptations."

I rarely have a sense of grace. Haven't for years. I was thinking today that although I am no longer a spiritual baby, perhaps I am a teenager?

mrsdarwin said...

It may speak more to your spiritual maturity in not requiring the comfort of consolations.