Staring down your own hypocrisy is painful.
There are a lot of things I don’t love about my self, many things I would change given the opportunity, but I have always loved the heart God has given me for the hurting and the poor. I value my compassion above most other things and I thought myself, at least generally, above the materialistic pride of my peers.
I have lost a lot in the last year. I went from living comfortably in my own furnished apartment to sleeping on futons, air mattresses, and even a makeshift crate and mattress on the floor during the last six months.
Part of what keeps me going is telling myself how “temporary” this all is and how I will get it all back soon enough… because i’m not the kind of person who lives like this. How prideful is that?
I identify myself as someone who will go anywhere and do anything if it means serving others and doing what God has called me to do. Want me to live in the bush in Africa? Let’s hop a flight today. A compound in Haiti? I’ll be packed within the hour. It’s so simple when the circumstances are MY choice. When I CHOOSE to put myself in those conditions. But what about when they are chosen for us?
I went hunting for a place to live this week and the only places I might have any chance of affording were so sad and bleak.
I stopped by one apartment that had a room for rent and before I even stepped inside I felt myself cringing. It was clearly a very low-income area and when I saw the inside I felt myself wanting to cry and run away.
“This can’t be where I belong”
“I’m not someone who lives in these neighborhoods”
Confronting my own pride and sense of “expectation” was nauseating. I felt like a fraud for not being perfectly okay with the option placed in front of me. A person of my depth and compassion should accept anywhere as long as it’s a roof over my head, right? I felt so ashamed for wanting and expecting more for my life.
Even the next day or so I thought about how I should test myself and simply accept the room… how the “right” thing to do was to move in and prove my true, less prideful, nature. It would have been a lie in most respects.
God has so much more work left to do in me. I’m still processing the complexities of what i’ve felt since I visited that apartment. It’s a scary moment when you realize how far you are from who you want or thought yourself to be.
It may not be who I am just yet but it still is who I desire to be and by God’s grace I will truly be there one day.