on humiliation

11 . May . 2010

one particular aspect of
townhouse life in the city
is the thrice-weekly
Taking Out of the Trash.

m, w, f evenings
we place our black bags
on the front curb
awaiting the early-morning arrival of
our [usually jovial] santa-in-reverse
sanitation workers.

the summer months carry the added
opportunity of people rummaging
through the bags at night,
presumably looking for ‘treasure’,
strewing the previously-tidy contents
hither + yon.

my humiliation was made
complete this morning
upon running into t.w.o.
while on hands+knees
cleaning up said strewn
personal superprivate trash.

one gentleman was even
so kind as to offer to help.

[i about fainted]

no thank you,
no! thank you,
certainly got it.

‘dear sidewalk,
please open + swallow me whole.

may the Lord do his surgery in
my heart today, as i am
vividly reminded that i, too,
am full of trash.

that my best efforts are as *ahem* filthy rags.

that though i’m built to know God,
i insist on living independently of him,
as my own master,

and that this effort at independence
creates a sense of anxiety + shame,

which results in efforts to
cover my nakedness +
justify my existence
to feel acceptable + worthwhile.

i am saved by his sheer generosity.

may we draw out the implications
of this gospel of grace today
prayerfully live in consistency
with it.

that the Ultimate Sanitation Worker
has done the greater work.