Humility – A Lenten Reflection by Kathy Escobar
Today’s reflection comes from Kathy Escobar co-pastor at the refuge, an ecletic beautiful faith community in north denver, a mommy of 5 (3 teenagers & twins that are 11), teammate & partner to jose, ….a writer now & then…a trained spiritual director (one who’s a little on the loud side)…an advocate for her friends in hard places…a cultivator of voca femina, a creative arts site for women to use their voice…an online faculty instructor to make a little extra money here & there…and a group-facilitator-whenever-she-can-be-because-that’s-one-of-her-favorite-things-in-the-whole-world-to-do. they all sort of just blend together and make for one messy life in the trenches with incredibly lovely & amazing & courageous people.
one of my favorite stories in the gospels is luke 7:26-50, the woman who bursts into simon the pharisee’s house when Jesus was there, falling on her knees and wiping his feet with her tears. every time i read it, i am reminded of how she really didn’t care what everyone thought in the moment. she didn’t stand in the background waiting for the perfect moment. she didn’t sit outside the walls of the house hoping to somehow find a way to connect with him when he left. she didn’t let pride get the best of her.
rather, she ignored everyone there, broke all convention, and just did what she needed to do.
she was desperate, humble, willing to make a complete fool out of herself for the sake of connecting with Jesus, some how, some way.
i think how often in my day to day i let pride get in the way of finding my way toward God. my heart is often not soft and open. i can be too busy, too distracted, too focused. i often stay constrained, unwilling to let myself fully surrender to God, to bend a knee and offer myself freely.
pride gets in the way.
rather than making myself that vulnerable, i take a safer posture–one on the sidelines, an observer rather than a participant. while i might not be like simon the pharisee, mocking the woman’s devotion, the part that i relate to about him is that it’s much easier to critique than contribute. to stay safely protected in my seat instead of humbled on my knees.
the focus of this lenten series is “following Jesus–what difference does it make?”
following Jesus is not a spectator sport. it requires getting down and dirty, even when others around us are shiny and clean. it requires getting up out of my seat. it requires a softening of my heart and a willingness to not give a rip about what other people think. it requires staying in touch with my humanity and my desperate need for God’s healing, hope, peace, and mercy.
most of all, it requires humility. a humility that the world rarely teaches. a humility that the church rarely teaches. a humility that is willing to break convention. a humility that others may look at as weakness, a crutch, utter silliness, dumb, or at least crazy.
so many people in that room thought the woman was crazy. but the truth was that she nailed what so many others missed.
i don’t want to miss it. i don’t want a false pride to cover up a real desperation.
this lenten season, my hope for me, for others who struggle with humility, is that we’d feel God’s spirit propel us to our knees, with gratitude, with hope, with a humble and soft heart that is open and willing.