A Single Cup of Water - Part 2


By Nate Hartman

March 30, 2020

Reminders come in humbling ways, and these recent weeks have born evidence of my weakness. I’ve been aware of my own fragility; I’ve felt the weight of decisions that prove that I am not strong; and each day I struggle to fully admit that I need mercy…If you know me, I need your mercy. In countless moments, in repeated recognition, I continue to fumble to grasp this truth – I cannot stand on my own. I need you, and you need that person beside you.

These days have tempted me toward pride, bent my ear to the whisper of the greatest of deceptions – that I am able. Able to handle this on my own. Able to know the answers. Able to measure up to the challenge. Able to be what others need me to be. But, as I was reminded yesterday, I am not able to be what He alone is. So ready to grasp that alluring apple and bite into its sweet fraud, I am quick to chase honor without its prerequisite…

Humility quickly corners me, and I am a sitting duck. I neglect a loved one’s feelings in favor of defending my own. I slump beneath the weight of my weakness, my inability to provide and protect and to make sense in the face of much that is confusing. Even now, I will my fingers to make words that represent wisdom, though they struggle under the weight of heartache for a friend whose life rests delicately in God’s hands. I am not able. I need you.

Please, please, I beg each of us…Love one another. Though many of us are putting on a happy face, or speaking words of determination, or braving the reality of our circumstances; we are not what we attempt to represent…not even close. We are fragile, weak, desperately inadequate. Despite my insistence upon knowing more than you do, my refusal to give in to fear or pain, my tendency to be proud and claim that I’m right; I am truly in need, and I’m guessing you are, too. We are unstable, lonely, and in need of mercy. This time, as clearly as any I can remember, is a time for us to cast aside pride and to commit to loving one another.

“There's a lot of pain in reaching out and trying
It's a vulnerable place to be
Love and pride can't occupy the same spaces baby
Only one makes you free”

The words of Sara Groves, in her “Loving A Person,” pulled my thoughts outside of myself – and I’m asking all of us to spend a bit less time considering whether we’re right, what we desire, how we’re suffering, whether we’ve been wronged, why that other person is an idiot, or anything other than this…Who needs some love, and how can I communicate that to them?

None of us can get through this on our own. Even an introvert like me will eventually begin to feel isolated and lonely. I will fail to admit my own weakness and, instead, wallow in its consequences. Will you commit, with me, to be kind? Will you remind me of these things that I’m remembering now? To think of the hurting one that God puts in your path, by looking up and being ready to see him / her? To overlook the words of frustration and anxiety that are sometimes directed your way? To commit to intentional, daily acts of consideration? To determine to pray daily and humble yourself, to instead consider what God is trying to teach you right now? To listen more and truly hear, truly understand? Loving a person just the way they are is, indeed, no small thing. In Sara’s words, “it’s the whole thing.”

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