As I stood there (with Jesus by my side) I looked at the pathways that went to the right of the line and saw those with whom I have felt bitterness over God's providence in their lives being so different (and more acceptable) than mine, and I knew in my heart that God was in those pathways too.
I felt freedom to raise my hand in blessing towards those brothers and say, "bless you." I realized that my own pathway insecurities (insecure that my path with Jesus is not a legitimate one) cause me to lash out at others whose pathway is different (usually easier, more "successful" and light-filled), when in reality Jesus is just as much in their journeys as he is in mine (though maybe there is a necessarily greater depth the further toward the "left" that one's path goes). I let go of being the "corrector" of those on the right and received the reality and integrity of my own path. I felt able to leave the outcome of this dark journey in Jesus' hands, wherever it leads, even if it doesn't lead to the "lighter" side.
I also had clarity on when those on the right call to me (and others) to join them through various means. It is not bad for them to call out to others to follow them, it's natural for a vibrant vine to call attention to itself as "light of the world." It is part of its beauty and vibrancy. Correspondingly, the darker lines like mine have a more muted message - "follow me, but things may get really rough, so don't do it lightly. God is a consuming fire." Often though I feel I have to somehow cajole and polish my line so that it looks more like those lighter lines. I am free from having to prove myself. I can, in freedom, say "no, that is not part of my journey, brothers. But be blessed on your journey." I feel a little more free to affirm what is good and right in those lighter lines while not ignoring the weaknesses and deficiencies.
I guess I am no longer defined by their (or my) deficiencies, but the sufficiency of Christ who is "the way, the truth and the life," and also "the vine."
Powered by ScribeFire.