The Way God Is Transforming Me

Even your own life is not your business. It is also God’s business.
Leave it to God.
–Frederick Buechner, Telling Secrets

So I left my life in God’s hands
and trusted
that if I kept listening
to God’s still small voice
I would know what to do
and how to love.
I thought
I would be transformed
by grace
into Christ.

I thought
in entrusting my transformation to God
that eventually
kindness, generosity, and compassion
would flow from me effortlessly,
accessible on the surface.

But that has not happened.

The kind word
the generosity action
the compassionate sigh
keep arriving late to the party
and only after I’ve seen it in others.

I do not lack these attributes.
They are in me
buried
under layers of stuff
about me
about life
and what needs to be done
under layers of memories, desires
and responses to all that stuff.

A new thought came.

What if, in my design,
kindness, generosity, and compassion
never get dislodged and bubble up to the surface?
What if
God doesn’t intend them to?

I know that when I sink down under the layers
I find them.

What if
sinking down is something I must do
if I want to learn to love?

I want to do what comes naturally to me
but, for the most part, this doesn’t.
I want love to come easily
but often it doesn’t.

What if knowing that
is the way
God is transforming me?

This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time,
but now it’s out in the open.
God wanted everyone, not just Jews,
to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out,
regardless of their background,
regardless of their religious standing.
The mystery, in a nutshell, is just this:
Christ is in you,
so, therefore, you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory.
It’s that simple.
–Colossians 1:26-27 (MSG)

∗ ∗ ∗

Love Mischief for the World

Over my lifetime, I’ve experienced a lot of self-judgment and shame about my inability to be more other-centred. But whenever I talk about it in spiritual direction or with ones dear to me, I see the face of Jesus, the face of compassion. Slowly I have learned to offer myself compassion and keep trusting that God is doing God’s business. When I signed up for the Radical Compassion Challenge in January, I was introduced to Kristen Neff, Ph.D. She is one of the world’s leading experts on self-compassion and yet remains “the girl-next-door.” In this Ted Talk, she explains why practising self-compassion is so important and how it differs from pursuing self-esteem.

What love mischief are you and God doing for the world?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
The first image is from a collage I made in March 2019.
Painting “Mustard Seed” by Wendy Linnington. Used with permission.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2020.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013-2020.  http://www.estherhizsa.com

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
This entry was posted in community, compassion, Reflections, Spiritual Direction, Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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