Friday, November 04, 2005

A Reflection of Ugliness

Tonight I went for a walk down to the Rose Bowl, and during this walk I came across some ugly parts of myself that I was not proud to see. On the way back from the bottom of the hill, I took a different route down a particularly dark street. At this point I was thinking to myself, "man you are dumb, this street is not safe to be on". Well as I was walking, something moved in the leaves, probably just a squirrel or a branch falling from a tree. But my paranoid self came crying out as I let go a yelp and ran like a crazy man. By the time I reached the top of the street to the safety of street lights, I was laughing at how stupid I looked and how fast my heart was beating. So far, so good. But further down the walk I went to cross in front of the 210 entrance. I pushed the button for the crosswalk, but it didn't register, so I had to push it again when the light went green. This caused a large truck with two high school guys to come to an abrupt halt when I entered the cross walk. They blinked their lights at me, and when I passed the car, they appeared to be saying something. Well, they revved the engine and said something, and I found myself yelling an expletive at them. Before the words had even left my mouth, I was overcome with shame. I could not believe how unlike myself the phrase sounded, and the fact that it came out of me so easily. I continued on, shaking my head and asking God to forgive my easily angered heart. Finally, I was on the home stretch of coming home when a local transient stepped behind me. I found my heart racing just like it did with the squirrel. In fact, my whole body tensed up, and I even began to clench my fists in a defensive manner. What the hell is wrong with me. It was then that I realized so much of my person is filled with irrational fear and anger. I am ashamed at the way I have failed to take on the likeness of Christ in my every day life. I am saddened by how easily I let anger and frustration rage inside of me, even while I speak out about peaceful resistance and actions. The funny thing is that I spent the better part of the walk listening to Democracy Now on the radio. The coverage was on the Celebration of Rosa Parks' life, and here I was resisting the very things I had heard. I guess I am just surprised at my own fallen state. I do have hope in the One who is beyond any repulsive act I can commit. But now I am painfully aware of how far I am away from living a life that truly reflects the love of Christ. It is in this reflection of ugliness that I see the glimmer of hope Christ offers to a broken person like me. Thank God for reflection and repentance. Now I must actually do something about it. Just don't drop any squirrels out of the sky next to me.

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