I have had grand conversations with friends over these last days that wound their way round to the idea of humility and how we understood it… To get there we passed through the village of cultural understandings about “Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof,” and the hills of those things, qualities, abilities, that are rights, those that are deserved, and those that are inextricably bound to Living.
My take on humility is that at its best, it is a steadying integration, a conscious center of gravity, and actually both emboldening and freeing. To accept that there is nothing, nothing, that can separate me from the love of God is astoundingly liberating to me. And to be able to accept it truly, for the gift it is, I need also know my capacity for causing hurt, for fearing, for turning from hope. I find that walking with the synergetic fullness of both of those realizations a humbling thing…it steadies me…motivates me to walk on, arms open to whatever is ahead, aware of both myself and God, fearing neither, loving both, grounded in holy reality.
This conversation came back to me in the kitchen about two hours ago while making lentil soup. Does it get more humble than a lentil? Alone, it is ordinary, simple, rather earthily neutral in taste…yet packed with healthy benefits and the potential to become much more. With the help of chicken broth, onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, cumin, and tomatoes, individual lentils joined in purpose and became a flavorful meal for six.
With the help of God and of others, I too come to see a greater fullness of who I am called to be. I see what needs tempering, what needs complemented, what flavors I bring to a group, what I am capable of that I did not know before I was not only called to enter in and offer myself, but before I accepted, not knowing, uncertain, but hopeful.
There is no reason for a lentil to shirk the glory of its becoming. Nor any human.
(Image from http://www.treehugger.com)