duty taking a firm stand somewhere between responsibility and obligation.
Oh, she knows the right thing to do, with that thickened spine and those formidable logs, er, arms spread wide and heading straight for you. That iron head. Look out for her love. Just like embracing an elm.
Though I’m certain God gets to know us through our obedience, what I am talking about here is that stiff inhibition, that gawky, graceless, overpowering sense of self-consciousness.
Thomas Merton says our minds cannot help but include self in everything. But in the end, he says, nothing (that is, no self) is preferred, that only when self is so small as to be missing can we fully comprehend the greatness of God.
Oh dear, my missing self. Missing myself. Now I am missing Wooden Woman.
Surely Thomas, this is not a call to first lose all identity. I’ve tried. I cannot make my self go away. I cannot even ignore her.
Being a little more than self-conscious in moving ahead (perhaps backwards according to Merton), it still seems reasonable to search out the greatness of God—dragging Wooden Woman along. To allow my self to witness God as big, bigger, even terrifyingly immeasurable, until little me by comparison is, in the end not gone, but utterly insignificant.
OK, it’s not perfect. But think of it, it’s hard not to give something that colossal all your attention, never mind any artless lumbering.
willing to give all, to pay any price, complete self-sacrifice.