I’m fumbling for words so please forgive me. They’re here somewhere I promise. Well, here they are but this won’t be pretty. I have a lion inside that would like to eat up every piece of paper out there and I can barely make my mind type one word at a time.
What do we say when we are faced with our own depravity? I would like to say it’s a rare occurrence. I would really love to tell you that every now and then I am selfish, or that about every other Tuesday I tend to be prideful. I would like to sincerely pronounce my goodness, righteousness, and beauty. Yes, I would like to call the trumpets forward and have the band play my song while I mount a small hill to read off my virtues. But, you see, I’ve done this before. I’ve mounted my ant hill and started to rattle off the things I can do. If you’re laughing than you’ve got the picture perfectly.
It was pretty pathetic and I think everyone saw my nakedness except for myself. I pictured myself in rolling robes, with a few scuffs perhaps but glowing all the same. You would have thought this would make me happy. You would think this would make a man’s heart leap for joy. But you would be wrong. For the whole parade was exhausting.
On this glowing Sunday I faced my own darkness again, my own flaws, my own depravity and my own dirt and I finally just looked. I really looked. It didn’t flinch, the cowardice beast, but just looked back. I saw how large the fellow was and it surprised me. The body was at least 6 times as large as I thought and the tail didn’t seem to end. I thought, ‘A different strategy is clearly in order.’ It will do no good to pretend he doesn’t exist. It will do no good to act as if I can shut him in a cage. No, he is rather large and I do believe he has met more of my friends than I would like to admit.
I can’t kill him you see, because I’m not quite sure how he lives. I don’t remember feeding the brute, and I certainly don’t remember walking him up and down the street. Yet, he lives and festers and he speaks. I don’t remember inviting him here. When I think of all the tenets a man would like to have live in his body, this is certainly not the description one seeks: ‘Dark, devious, a large appetite and a hard heart.’ The beast wakes when he wishes, and sleeps when he dares. I can tame him as much as I can cage him. Yes, I can press one of his paws into a cage and act as if I have mastered him. I supposed I could hold his tail still for a while and pronounce his defeat. Yet, this last only a minute before he overpowers my hand and I am underneath him once again.
I submit a new plan to the readers. If you find an unmanageable tenet growing in your heart, invite the lion in. Oh, yes, the lion is certainly dangerous, and he will never be caged, but He will deal most severely with that brute. You will lose control… but then again, you never had it in the first place.
I have given up dear brothers and sisters. I have hung my hunting hat on the wall by the trophies I once proudly shined. I simply don’t have the caliber. It’s a dark and murderous thing that sits beneath my flesh. It’s dirty, and slimy and I hate it. But it’s not a sensitive kind of brute and it only laughs when I poke it with a stick.
No, my dear brothers and sisters, I have surrendered to the lion. He may be dangerous but oh, He is good. He roars and the beast shrinks and shrivels. Yes, it does hurt a bit my friend. It seems the brute’s tail was intertwined with my own limbs more than I knew. But the shearing knives cut only to grow.
Yes, He prunes so that I may bear fruit. He doesn’t inflict to devastate. He cuts with precision and then comforts with endurance. He’s sincerely interested in life.
That brute’s tail will continue to swing, but the lion has told me something very odd. He whispers,
“I am making things new.”
I can’t make things new. I can toil with old things, reshape things, and reassemble things, but I cannot make anything new. You understand then, why this was so odd, and why this was so sweet.
My heart likes the sound of new things.