I am plagued by pride–no more stained than other sins in magnitude, the absolute worst in keeping me from acknowledging my self. Around me stand souls in need of love and silently crying out for someone to “Listen! Don’t you hear me?! I stand here with my arms cut and dripping crimson blood black as shadows and white as the walls of the institute in which my mind has been imprisoned! And yet you turn your nose walk away.”
And yet I turn my nose, and I walk away.
Pride is the acknowledgement of a being–a Supreme Deity–higher than God and much less powerful: Me. It is the outright and forthright admission of a love so strong, even Jesus must stand in awe of its might, because of course it’s far more powerful than even He could manage. Powerful enough to separate the human soul, the creation of the Creator Himself, irreparably, and clever enough to make me think that I am the bridge in that gap between my neighbor, myself, my self, and God. Pride is the human art of crucifying myself without the wood and the nails, of parting the water with pebble and taking the credit because I must be holy enough to command a sea to stand at attention; pride throws open the prison doors in the earthquake and leads me into the next cell over and tells me that “Here is where you are free.”
Pride is an ugly thing. I am guilty of pride in the utmost degree. Unpardonable. Humanity is an ugly, unbeautiful, irreversible condition. Yet the farther and longer I walk with God, the more and more I see how beautiful we are in our humanity.
God does not look down on us and send us a holy set of wings with which to work with him. No. God, the spotless and masterful mind behind you and I, appraises us as we wallow in our mud puddles, in our barren and filthy and festering humanity, and He says, “I’m going to use you. I’m going to adopt you. Because already do I love you and always have I had plans for you.”
I am guilty of pride. I am unpardonably indicted by my superiority to the creations God has put in my path for me to love as a piece of His creation myself. I am putrid in my puddle. And I stand infected by the overpowering urge to crush those whom I deem unworthy of accolades, of awards, of love.
Yet I am humbled by a more pressing weight that gently brushes my shoulder and whispers to me that “Those are My fearfully, wonderfully made people. And through them will My Son be known.”
When I look at humanity–when I look at humans–I know what my pride sees. Darkness, shadows, addiction, sexual perversion, reliance on drugs, idolatry, materialism, hatred, genocide, complacency, betrayal, treason, lies, deception, thievery, rape, condemnation, judgment, assault, war, bloodshed, disregard, indifference, prejudice, discrimination, persecution, murder, lust, disobedience, anger, pride. When I look at humanity, I see myself and I am weighted.
But when God looks at humanity–when He shows me what He sees–I am weighted in the love that He sheds on me unconditionally. When I see humanity, I see no shadows save for the one hovering about my self, whispering that somehow, someway, whether or not anyone else likes it, I’m better than my fellow creations.
When God reaches through the darkness, though, I see every space there is for the Light to dance through, to cast beautiful and dancing shapes against the walls, to touch the blackest corners of our faux-white human souls, to illuminate the darkness and make the tall infinitesimally minute, and to make the strong as weak as wet piece of tissue. A Light so powerful, that the weak may hold the weight of humanity on their shoulders and stand straight, and the downtrodden may rise and bless their persecutors. I see exactly what God sees we are capable of, and I am shattered under the weight of what He believes we are capable of through Him:
Compassion, mercy, grace, love, justice, faithfulness, fidelity, truth, patience, kindness, sharing, concern, purity, righteousness, inclusion, goodness, peace, self-control, generosity.
I am plagued by pride. But I am overwhelmed by the touch of the Father, and when I look at the human race as God sees us, I am weighted by the beauty in our humanity.