The thing is, when you start praying for charity you think (or at least I think) you are going to somehow wake up one day and be full of flowery love for everyone. But I'm realizing every day I pray for charity it takes some interesting routes that don't necessarily make a whole lot of sense. Like, charity sometimes means you are willing to let go of a relationship so it can maybe...someday...start over again.
I just think...I mean, it's rare I hear how complex the road to charity is. And so I thought, well, maybe I can address it writing or something. And this is how I feel today: when I took the challenge to pray for charity every day with all strength of my soul I just thought it would translate into some perky moments I could whip up in a paragraph and share to the world. But really, for me, it's been actually like staring into a deep tunnel where there is light at the end, but it's going to take a lot of steps through the unknown to get there--and it might take all my life, in fact it probably will take all my life.
And the unknown is like, taking breaks and asking for space and having conversations you have tried to avoid for years. And it means owning the truth of how I feel without making a show of penitence out of it. But I am grateful that I seem to be blessed first and foremost with a greater sense of devotion to my husband and children. So while inspiration sends me one way with relationships, there are others who are, I guess, holding your hand even tighter as you walk through that tunnel.
Don't you love tunnel analogies?
Really though, doesn't it feel good to take an honest inventory of your feelings without slapping a judgement on them? I mean, to just say that feelings are not indicative of your worth, and see them for a moment as neutral. For instance, saying, I don't like being around this person--without adding, and that makes me an awful human. Because when you think that your feelings make you bad, the obsession you obtain in trying to not be bad becomes more overwhelming than trying to understand why you don't like being around that person. But seeing your feelings as though you were an outside spectator lightens the load you're carrying (through that tunnel).
Anyway, every day I wake up hoping for that flowery experience but instead I learn something about me. I guess it's a testament to the idea that first I have to know how God feels about me before I can hope to feel the same about someone else. And God's manifestation in my life has always been an unexpected, surprising and liberating experience--and that is how I want to be in my associations with others, so I walk through the tunnel.
This has been an analogy-filled, somewhat nonsensical journey into my heart, thanks for tuning in.