Wednesday, August 7

words for wednesday {Page 14, being a Somebody}

“Like city dwellers who no longer notice the polluted air, we breathe in the atmosphere of ungrace unawares. As early as pre-school, and kindergarten we are tested and evaluated before being slotted into advanced, normal or slow track. Test papers come back with errors, not correct answers, highlighted. Ford Motor Company grades employees on a scale of 1 (clerks and secretaries) to 27 (chairman of the board). You must be at least Grade 9 to qualify for a parking space: Grade 13 brings with it such perks as a window, plants and an intercom system: Grade 16 offices come equipped with private bathrooms. Justice departments and mortgage companies cannot operate by grace. A sports franchise rewards those who complete passes, throw strikes, or make baskets, and has no place for those who fail. Fortune Magazine annually lists the five hundred richest: no one knows the names of the five hundred poorest.”

Philip Yancey, Grace

It’s not really surprising that I question my existence now that I am fully dependant, and meritless. I feel like a Nobody because every Somebody in our world has to earn their way to Somebodiness and I can’t anymore. I can't, and it doesn't feel good. I’ve always defined myself by my achievements, and now that I can’t achieve, I wonder where on earth I fit in?

But then there’s this bizarre and wonderful grace thing, where things aren’t earned or strictly fair. I have a meagre grasp of it. I just know that grace doesn’t care about what I can do, and that we need more grace in our world because there’s enough ungrace. Grace seems to me a lot like unconditional love.

I was looking through HONY and a wizened face appeared, a man playing a wooden flute. The music drew me in, but then I read what the man had said and it seemed to sum up every confused thought I have had regarding me and how I fit into the world now that I am ill.

“Don’t look to other people for validation. Your birth was your validation.”

I was born a little red squishy 7 lbs of girl. I was loved for just being a human being, even when Mum first discovered that I was in her womb, barely formed, barely functional. I didn’t acquire my validity to exist once I’d done something impressive, or sacrificial, or beautiful. I am not valid because of what I do - but because I was born and I make up one of the millions of souls who exist because they were created.

“Your eyes saw my unformed substance;

in your book were written, ever one of them,

the days that were formed for me,

when as yet there was none of them.”

Ps 139

I only discovered Humans of New York a couple of weeks ago, but it was love at first sight and every sight since.

I am overwhelmed by the beauty and uniqueness of every soul captured. When I trawl through the photos and hilarious or sobering quotes I feel less alone because there are thousands of humans going through highs and lows simultaneously. I feel community.

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