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Saturday, August 13, 2016

What it means to be...

Humble in Spirit

Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral.”
Frank Lloyd Wright

While mentally casting about for a topic this morning, I kept running into brick walls. I looked for quotes by someone I didn't know, just randomly clicking—came up with quotes by a plus-sized model who spoke about becoming comfortable in your own skin, and not trying to be other than who you are. I looked at the Bible quote “Blessed are the poor in spirit...” and was told to replace the word “poor” for the word “humble.” Blessed are the humble in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom...” None of these produced words in me. I was about to give up and not write today, when I remembered yesterday's Facebook post from my neighbor, Marcia, who's in Berlin, Germany right now. She had cooked chicken and lentils for dinner. On a whim, I desperately googled quotes about chicken and lentils, and the very first offering was this Frank Lloyd Wright quote about humility. Whew! Some days Spirit just yanks me around.

So, let's think about humility. It means being comfortable in your own body—not envying other body-types, not feeling shame about your own, but being grateful for and curious about the soul that lives within it. C.S. Lewis said this about it: “What I call my 'self' is hardly a person at all. It's mainly a meeting place for various natural forces, desires, and fears, etc, some of which come from my ancestors, and some from my education, and some perhaps from devils. The self you were really intended to be lives not from nature, but from God.” We are who we are---children of God.

Being humble means that you do not consider some things to be beneath you; that you do not hold yourself out as somehow exceptional. I've just read a book about a famous painter, who, before he was famous, worked as a handyman. He spent a considerable amount of time cleaning up other people's messes, their homes, sometimes their bodies and their lives. Whatever needed to be done, he did, and in doing so, he learned how to authentically represent life—its color, its light and darkness, its messiness—in his art. Frank Lloyd Wright designed some incredibly unique spaces—and apparently, a chicken house.

Humility does not mean shame. It means digging in, getting your hands dirty, and following Spirit's lead wherever She takes you.

                                                      In the Spirit,

                                                          Jane

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