hubris…

It was probably the icon of Christ speaking loudest. As I looked at Him this weekend in the sanctuary of the church this word came to me. I may have asked, without realizing, why I’m so angry or perhaps when I walked in He could see it, as though I was wearing it for clothing. It’s not a soft wool sweater, my anger, it’s a red metal suit of armor, I have a sword and an axe. Whose blood is it on that sword? Ah, yes, mine and yours and ours.

So when this word came to me I greeted it with anger, of course. Don’t you know I’m the picture of humility? Don’t you see that in me? Humility is about putting myself down and taking myself down a peg, isn’t it? Isn’t that what I do when I tear myself down for my own bad behavior?

I had to look it up to be sure…hubris:

1. pride or arrogance
2. (in Greek tragedy) an excess of ambition, pride, etc, ultimatelycausing the transgressor’s ruin

 

And I want to swear, big. I want to rail against this pronouncement because I’m a solid, independent, intelligent woman. I will not be reduced by religion. I will not be “put in my place.” I will not be worn down, taken down, pushed down…

Oh, and then…there it is…that high place I was standing. I see it now. And it’s tears that find me next. Not hot, angry tears but deep sad tears. What will I do without that false high pedestal? Now that I see it clearly, it’s not made of stone or marble…but bamboo and balled up kleenix tissues. It’s not safe up here, it may have been safe for a short time when I built it, to lift me out of some mire that might have devoured me but it’s not safe now. I was so much smaller, younger when I built it. It can’t hold the weight of me now. It sways with every breeze, the rain breaks it down a little more every time.

I don’t want to be knocked down for I am most afraid of the mire. Maybe now, more afraid of the fall though…it’s a high tower, basic physics tells me I could be really hurt in the fall.

So I begin my slow climb down, into the dark, into the mire.

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