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Sacrificing Inward Integrity

Divulgence of the heart, to freely speak my deductions and desires regardless of their affect, is a selfish luxury. To foist my thoughts upon others and to call the speaking of these things honest truth, is no gift. 

It is a lack of self-control, a wily tongue gone loose and an inability to value others' ease and dignity. It is giving mastery to my own pressing thoughts and insecure feelings, which, when given power, insist upon being made into gods. To live this way will surely make all normal relationships disappoint by their imperfect handlings of my divulged heart. If I am to demand so much from life and others, joy may never be grasped.

No. If there is to be any grace, then the truth of personal feelings cannot come first. For grace is to forgo being understood for the sake of understanding others. Grace is to act the part of honor, respect, and agreement though my heart would rather wield its wounds and fears as weapons.

Grace is to silently sacrifice my deepest longings in order to share another's dreams. And although such restraint may feel like jeopardizing inward integrity or stifling my own freedom, it is in fact broadening my scope of truth. It is acting as if we were entirely unselfish though the individual heart screams for stardom. For it is that daily mundane acting, built up into a habit of service that becomes at last a habit of mind and feeling as well as of body. This, indeed, is the continuous death prior to a continuous life.

Such a love turns paupers to kings in the finding of value in the simplest of persons who through the lens of this love, seem to possess such unique loveliness that, rather than being a source of jealous contention, receive our admiration. 

What a world we have of such variety and colors and tastes and dreams all stowed inside each man and woman's heart! What a vision to behold when we keep silent to see the tapestry of mankind all different but all reflecting the trillions of facets of God himself! We need not see trillions; we have our own parents and siblings, spouses and children, in-laws and congregations as a start. 

Let our sacrifice start here to increase our grace and to see Providence everywhere. 

-Elizabeth Gouge, Bird in the Tree and Pilgrim's Inn

Comments

MommaMina said…
So very true and a call to unselfish living. Loved it - thanks for mining it out for us.

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