Humility must always be doing its work like a bee making its honey in the hive: without humility all will be lost.” Teresa of Avila
Be careful, my child. Gather with care from the wind-borne moment what sustenance you may find.
Keep searching for truth, the sweet amidst the bitter. Be diligent, be sincere, be curious and undaunted.
But be humble. You are only one small laborer in a very large garden. There is so much more than what you see. There is so much less of you than you pretend.
Be careful, my troubled one. Learn to wait, to hover, to rise above the gusty winds of rash and shallow discourse. Tune your ear to listen for reason beneath reaction, for hunger beneath a smug and self-satisfied sigh.
Look deeper. It is not your quick retort, your flush of confusion, your clenched fist, or your fleeting joy that will sustain you. It is not your solitary or collective understanding that will carry you home.
There is something more substantial beneath your feet, the pulsing life you did not fashion, the steady hum of being not of your own doing. The black-sharpie underline, the emphatic, unfathomable but rock-rooted foundation beneath you–what is it?
Love. Love that never fails, that will not be shaken. God’s glad and unswerving intention that all creation be healed, redeemed, and wondrously restored.
Be careful, then, with your words, for words can’t be unsaid. Be cautious with anger, keep it aimed at its only true target.
Be wary of superior and disdainful certainty. Reject the viral snark, the emotional and simplistic answers of this age. Be humble, be little, refusing to make your viewpoint and half-formed assumptions the interpretive key for all time.
Above all, be stern with your own sin, your hidden complicity with evil. With joy, receive God’s abundant mercy and forgiveness, and let it spill over and ever upon your neighbor.
Where have you learned to be careful?
Photograph by Melanie Hunt