for all the days i've been on this earth, i've yet to shift the balance on the scale of selfish vs. selfless. the selfish side has been closer to the ground for, well, all my life. but as i get older i'm attempting to throw some of the weight off of this side and get the selfless part of me fat. i see it in my father, in my mother, and in so many of the people i love, this selfless living towards me. and it pains me to think... well, let me explain...
i'm going through a book with some great people right now called The Return of the Prodigal Son - A Story of Homecoming by Henri Nouwen. we met last night about it and discussed which of the three main characters of the story we saw ourselves as. i confessed i felt like the younger son who left home to pursue pleasure and wealth and frivolity. but that i felt i was on my way back home. the other characters, the older son, who resented his younger brother for leaving, squandering his inheritance, and putting his family through torment, and the Father who welcomed his son home with no question, just a party. both the sons have their hurdles to get over. their issues to deal with. and surely the father was in anguish the entire time his son was gone. still, he threw him a party when he returned. this kind of selfless love i just cannot understand. the act seems so simple, but the toll it must take on your being to live in such a way seems very costly.
but its where i want to be.
this note today was a glimpse that i may have been on this side of things, the selfless side, for one of the first times in my life. possibly. i felt as though i was living like i was towards them, and then... well the inheritance was taken and they're gone. so now, on this side, i feel the pain of not being considered. too many times have i done that to others. TOO many. so many that i see when i'm doing it and make an effort to stop. hence the scale shifting goal. but from here, i feel the pain of rejection in spite of so many efforts to love well.
so i'm hoping that as i continue this journey towards becoming like the Father, that maybe the pain will subside a little. or least i'll be given the grace to withstand it.
i read a great quote today that i'll leave you with:
"In life, as in the dance, grace glides on blistered feet." -Alice Abrams