Weakness and Self Humiliation

Tuesday was perhaps the lowest moment of my entire “professional” life.

I’ve struggled to think if perhaps there’s been a worse moment for me in all my years of working, but only one can even compete (and that’s a story all unto itself… litigation involving accusations that pesticides required a family to abandon their home led to a document production at the abandoned house in East Texas back in the spring 1994… we wandered through a football size field of grass up to my waist… opposing counsel was there zipped into the most enormous yellow protective suit — to protect him from the snakes and pesticides… I’m there with our 2 laywers calling it all bunk, and I’m hoping they’re right as the other lawyer questions them about taking me into that house for documents given that I’m of childbearing age! By the time I had wandered through those fields, scared to death of snakes, wondering how I got dragged into this, my allergies kicked in, and my nose ran, my eyes watered, I sneezed again and again, and I had not so much as a tissue for the next couple of hours. I sat on the porch of that dusty, abandoned house trying to control all this, while the lead lawyer says to me in disbelief, “What’s WRONG with you?” “Allergies,” I answer. Truth is, I don’t even really have allergies, but anyone who wades in waist deep grass for a stretch in the hot Texas sun can develop them immediately, I found.). I realize that was a long parenthetical, but alas, that day did not compare with this past Tuesday.

I was taking part in a video shoot. Interestingly, I had prayed at length about this. I had recently read a John Piper article on words — and so my prayer had been that the Lord would keep me humble and Himself exalted. I wanted to be guided by the double criterion Piper describes: self humiliation and Christ exaltation.

I had no idea what that prayer would lead to — true self humiliation, sheer embarrassment even, tears as I couldn’t articulate a compelling message for the video, despite probably 5 hours of preparation. We’ve yet to see if any of those words can even be used, but my suspicion is, if they are, given my complete and total inadequacy and failure, Christ alone would be able to make it something where He can be glorified.

In spite of it all, I’m thankful for it. It’s one of those moments you know God designed to be just what it was. And He revealed to me some other things I needed to know — “Cease striving,” I felt. “Quit trying so hard to be all things here. Be about the other things I’m called to be.”

Should I blog about my single worst moment? I don’t know. I’ve already been so reduced, it seems of little consequence to share it on my blog. I guess I like the fact that God uses the weak; He gives us His strength even when we can’t see it; and He is sovereign and purposeful. So I praise Him for these things today!

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