Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Blessed are the Meek

As I sat for the thirtieth hour in front of the monitor, it was hard to believe that I still hadn't finished the whole of page 1. "Only 11 more to go," I thought to myself sarcastically. The other half of my mind was busy calculating the fact that, at my present rate, I would remain at the monitor for another 330 hours, equaling 13 days and 18 hours. But since the paper was due in only three days, something had to give.

I tried online idea generators. I tried doing other things. I even tried sleep to help clear my head of every bit of debris. But nothing worked.

Since I was a little girl, I'd never had much trouble with writing apart from being too lazy to do it. But this essay was, for some reason, not coming to me. And no matter that the deadline was approaching so swiftly, even my subconscious seemed unable to help me. I felt ashamed. I felt debased. I felt human.

When I am at my lowest, I am also my most humble. Despite my own self-inflicted ideas of literary grandeur, I am only dirt with a breath of God. In such desperation, I was forced to drop my arrogance and ask for Sir Coolman's assistance.

Slowly, begrudgingly, I pulled the drawer open to reveal the large silver box. Then, removing the lid, I found that Sir Coolman had been waiting for me. I pulled the mirror from its soft, velvety bedding and looked into the glass. I didn't see Coolman, but myself.

I was at work, so it was sunny outside, and I was talking to a child named Bonbon. This cute-little-princess-of-a-student stood before me, her gaze elevated, her arms crossed. I couldn't hear a single word I said, but I could hear her thoughts.

"I already know anything you could possibly tell me."

"Why is she wasting her time. I don't need her help."

"What does she know? She's not even a real teacher."

While I couldn't hear my words, I could read my face quite well. I could see my frustration, not about what the girl was saying, or even that she was obviously not listening to me at all, but the fact that she presented an attitude of self-elevation. I could feel the future pain that she would experience due to her unwillingness to be humble.

A quick fog in the mirror erased that scene and displayed a different one. Bonbon was there, but she was much older. She was seated at a desk, a pen in her hand. In front of her was a short stack of documents which she looked over furiously. Again, I couldn't hear what was going on around her, but I could hear her thoughts.
"I know what these words mean. I have to." She wriggled in her chair, her eyebrows bowing in a sign of obvious strain. "I know what they are. I know. I can sign it. I know what I'm signing. Really. I do." She dipped her head and began signing her name on the documents.

Up to that point, I hadn't been able to make out the man sitting across the table from her. But he became suddenly quite clear. He was dressed in a dark suit and sat with a smirk on his face. Eerily, I could suddenly hear his thoughts. "We own you now, you idiot."

Another quick fog in the mirror left me with the smirking mug of Sir Coolman. Then, he smiled, a genuine smile like I'd never seen beaming at me through that mirror. "You see, child, you must be humble to live your best life." His smile turned slowly to a look of real concern. "Humble yourself so that God doesn't have to allow life to humble you."

I sat down on the bed, the mirror still in my hand. "Ok." Once I stopped sniffing, I was able to ask him one of the most humbling questions I'd asked in years. "But how?"

"You're supposed to be a follower of Christ. Ask him for help." I thought about Jesus, how he left Heaven for earth to pay the tab I'd run up that was too high for anyone but God to pay. He'd humbled himself, and he did so to help me.

I looked down at the face of the mirror to see Sir Coolman's face wrinkling as he was splattered with my tears. "For instance," he said, "if it wasn't for humility, do you really think I'd be here with you?" I felt my chest and cheeks start to itch with anger before I realized Coolman's attempt at changing the mood. I couldn't help but laugh with him, at myself. When I looked for him again, all I was was my own face, smiling, much prettier than I remembered being.

I placed the mirror on the thick bedspread and knelt before a God who'd been listening before I even realized how much I needed to kneel there. I told Jesus how sorry I was for everything I'd done wrong, and that I knew that he could help me to avoid those ways of thinking and acting. I asked for his forgiveness and help to overcome my pride. I prayed for a turn of events in Bonbon's life, so that what the mirror had shown me would never have to happen.

Near the end of my prayer, I asked the Lord to help me to write again. I admitted that I hadn't used the gift the way he wanted me to. I hadn't used it enough. I'd let the illusion of writer's block distort my use of his gift to me. But I begged him to help me.

And I think you know by now that he answered my prayer.

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