Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Glass Can Only Spill What it Contains



Right after I was saved, this was my favorite song. I'd listen to it over and over and over again, pretending to understand every word.

A cat came drifting onto my porch from the outside cold
And with eyes closed, drinking warm milk from my bowl
Thought,
"Nobody hears me! Nobody hears me!
As I crept in so soft
And nobody sees me! Nobody sees me!"
As I watched six steps off

Like peacocks wandering the walkways of the zoo
Who have twice the autonomy the giraffes and the tigers do
Saying,
"No one can stop me! No one can stop me!
No one clips my claws.
Now everyone watch me! Everyone watch me
scale these outside walls!"

Oh you, pious and profane
Put away your praise and blame
Said, "A glass can only spill what it contains"
To the perpetually plain, the incurably inane
A glass can only spill what it contains

What new mystery is this?
What blessed backwardness?
The Immeasurable One is held and does not resist!
Struck by wicked words and foolish fists of senseless men
The Almighty One does not defend

I was halfway listening to what she thinks she knows
We're like children dressing in our parents' clothes
Saying,
"Nobody knows me. Nobody knows me.
No one knows my name.
Nobody knows me. Nobody knows me.
No, nobody knows me."

I half-heartedly explained
But gave up peacefully ashamed
A glass can only spill what it contains
We went to Portugal and Spain
And in her mind the entire time it rained
A glass can only spill what it contains

What new mystery is this?
In overflowing emptiness
The Invisible is seen among the shadows and the mist
Before my doubting eyes the Infinite appears in time
The Unquestionable is questioned but makes no reply

What new mystery is this?
What new mystery is this?
What new mystery is this?
What new mystery is this?
What new mystery is this?
"My Rabbi!"
My lips betray with a kiss
What new mystery is this?


A few years later, as revalation has struck, my heart is hurt, I put it on repeat, for old time's sake.

I went to a worship service for women last night, trying to shut my brain up long enough to actually listen to what God had to say.
We took a "heart inventory" as one of our exercises of things that drained our hearts (things that put us in spiritual traps) and things that fill us up.
Things that fill me up are:
A happy husband, newborn baby lips, good food, sex, golden light, that color purple that streaks down green stems on flowers, girly giggles, creative movies, the list goes on.
That one wasn't very hard (and praise Jesus for that, there have been times where it has been!) but then the next list, the list describing what drains us, where are sin lies, where we are apart from God, it was easy to write, but hard to come to terms with:
I'm harsh to overcompensate so I won't be walked all over.
I have to have control over situations- if I don't, who will?!
When I'm not in control, I have anxiety spirals. "If I'm not doing this then this will happen, and then this won't work, and then we'll be late for this, and it will throw off her bedtime, and then I won't get any work done, andthenandthenandthen...."
I'm vain. To a fault. I used to care so, so, so much about how I looked because it wasn't good enough. I wasn't thin enough so I wasn't beautiful. But now, NOW, I'm thin. Now I can fit into those skinny jeans. Now I have people DAILY telling me how jealous they are of the way *I* look, and I'll be damned if I don't. If you see a mirror within 20 ft of you, you bet you'll see me in it. And don't worry, if you don't see that mirror, I'll go find it. Shit, look how much I just elaborated the fact that I consume myself with *me*. Attractive...

and after milling over and over in my head how all of these things are connected- I came to this:
I have to prove my worth.

To who? To you, to your mother, to my neighbor, to my husband, to my mother, to my friends, to my children. TO THE WORLD. and least importantly, to my God.
To prove to you that I know what the hell I'm talking about, I will dish out the bitchiest, most graceless comeback you've ever heard, and cry when you call me out on it.
I will take control over the situation, whatever it is, to prove you can count on me, and that I can do it better than you.
I will make sure I look as attractive as possible when I'm out in public to prove to everyone my youth wasn't wasted on my young motherhood, that I can still satisfy my husband, that I am as cool as my friends, and that I'm most certainly not concerned with appearances...
I have to prove that my "mistake" of a back ally pregnancy that is my physical conception is worth my every breath. That I'm not failing my physical mother, nor that I am exceeding her expectations. I have to prove to the asshole that knocked her up that little half-breed me made something of myself, and dammit, I'm one of the best at what I do.

All of this falls like a rotting 50 pound bag of garbage right in my lap, it's stench absolutely nauseating.


At this point I'm spinning while my brain is rattling off the tiny details, hurts and wrongs of my heart when I hear the woman speaking say

"No one can steal your joy, unless you give it away."

Romans 8:38-39

And I think, "AHA! YES! It is her fault for being too trusting with me, I can't help it if she got hurt."
And then I think "... I guess it's my fault, for giving her my joy"

So then back to praying I go when the speaker then says

"Death and Life are in the power of the tongue"
Proverbs 18:21

And it hits me. How much have I killed with my words? All those times I did not encourage, I did not breath life into my friendships with words... All the times my over compensating harshness has overshadowed the Grace that Jesus has given me.

What do you do? Where do you find balance?
And that brought me right back to this song. "A glass can only spill what it contains"

*I* can't do it. Controlling, bitchy, vain, broken me CAN. NOT. do this. When *I* do this, what pours out from me is sour vinegar, not precious sweet wine. What flows from me leaves stains that can be scrubbed away, but penetrate deep. Only the One that can wash those sins away can cover all of these areas of my life.


So tonight, this is my prayer
Oh you, pious and profane
Put away your praise and blame
Said, "A glass can only spill what it contains"
To the perpetually plain, the incurably inane
A glass can only spill what it contains





XO,
Mae

1 comment:

Haley Galloway said...

I LOVE THIS. Mewithoutyou is one of my favorites and has been for many years. I read every word and my heart wrenched with every sentence because I can identify so well with this post.

Thank you!