Thursday, November 10, 2005

what do you want?

What is it that we want? Today, I want to impress my professor with my brilliance so that he will not notice that I positively stink in science, but I'm a nice girl and my uncommon genius is simply restricted to all things non-science, math and spanish related. :) I want to produce a piece of work in my senior studio that will cause my professor to crumble to the ground in an emotional heap and cry out to whatever God is responsible for my artistic gift to please strike her blind so that she will never have to see another thing in existence to mar the perfection of the pieces I have presented for next week's critique and that it will be the last and only image burned on her heart.

But I digress. Are those really the things I want? Well, yes. Sort of. I do find myself staring into space, thinking about how I want to do something in the printshop, wanting it to be perfect, or at least what I see in my head. I do want to make really good grades and make my husband and parents and brother and friends proud. No pressure. I do want to be understood as smart and nice and talented and well-meaning.

And that's it sometimes, isn't it? We want to be understood for the truest, best part of who we are-- that intention that didn't come across quite as clearly as you meant it to. That point you were making that wasn't aimed for the heart of your listener, but registered there as a wound anyway. We want to be understood that we aren't as callous as we seem, jealous as we seem, fearful as we seem. We want to be seen.

It's all there in the Word. The Lord tells us that only He truly knows the heart of a man--- he sees the smallest speck of all of our truest intentions, which truth be told are often a mess of alternately generous and selfish intentions, and loves us loves us loves us.

Have you ever walked away from a conversation and winced because of what you just said? I have. O holy night, I have. Just this week, at least three times I said aloud as I walked away, "Why Lord? Why did I say that? Please fix anything I just did". I was tired or in a hurry or frustrated. Today, I had a conversation about the veracity of the Bible with two good friends who are also believers. After the conversation I just had to come before the Lord again with the same old prayer: please help me to stop sounding like I think I know everything Jesus. I know I don't know it all, am soundly convinced, but somehow I don't think I communicate that with my tone of voice...." How icky to sound pompous on the one sure bet in the world: No one understands the maintained integrity of the bible. NO ONE. Name four million people and we can agree that those four million do not have it. Only Jesus does.

All this to say, after the conversation was over and they were both gone, I wondered what it was that was stealing my peace so-- it wasn't the two friends. It wasn't the conversation. It was my deep need to be understood and the feeling that I wasn't just then and there was nothing I could do to make it happen right then. But the Lord saw my heart...

But the Lord...these are such comforting words. So often, it's like the whole "Santa is watching!!" we tell little kids to make them behave. "God is watching!" we put on a billboard to warn sinners (the other ones besides ourselves), when instead of threatening or warning, it should be so comforting. "Oh, thank goodness-- the one who really knows what I meant to say is long as He knows..."

going to sleep now-- i love you guys--
i love Him...

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